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RE: Accesskey: there are "techniques"?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 15:47:40 -0400 (EDT)
To: Charles Oppermann <charles@coppersoftware.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0309281539480.9716@homer.w3.org>

On Sat, 27 Sep 2003, Charles Oppermann wrote:

>- the numbers do not depend on the language (e.g.:H=Hepl in English, but in
>Italian  is A=Aiuto, etc.)
>As I said in my first message, the statement above is not valid.  Many far
>eastern languages use numbers for shortcuts on the menu due to the
>complexity of the language.  A single keystroke does not map to a single

OK. I know this isn't the case with Japanese, which is about the only asian
language keyboard I am used to.

But even closer to home a number of European keyboard layouts (the French
AZERTY and its relatives) require the shift key to get to numbers.

>I'm researching it currently, but I believe that ALT+1 is used as a shortcut
>in some far eastern languages for either the File or Help menus.

The short answer is that it seems every key is used by some technology (or
isn't available - how many people know which key is the arabic 'alif' (their
letter a)?

Browsers need to get first call on the function of a key they use, since the
user will normally learn the browser before the page, and will want
consistent control of their browser. So the browser may need to re-map the
key that it allows to activate something which has been given an access key.
This can be through a "pass-through" key (like Opera and some screenreaders
do), or a modifier (alt+ctrl like Amaya uses, or alt like Windows Internet
Explorer) that gets to a key combination not used by the browser (actually
Amaya doesn't get this right either), or by not reserving characters,
allowing just the key itself (like iCab does).

If it changes the activation letter (for example remap 'a' to alif on an
arabic keyboard, or to 'shad' which is the letter on the key that is 'a' on
a qwerty keyboard) the browser needs to tell the user. Since this means the
page author can't predict what will be the actual activation method, the
browser needs to tell the user for all accesskeys that are declared -
something like what iCab does is one possibility.



>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
>Of Maurizio Vittoria
>Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 2:15 AM
>To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>Subject: RE: Accesskey: there are "techniques"?
>I  agree  the application of the number in accesskey simply because:
>- the numbers are known to universal level
>- the numbers do not depend on the language (e.g.:H=Hepl in English, but in
>Italian  is A=Aiuto, etc.)
>- the numbers do not interfere with eventual keys it fix to you from the
>system or the programs
>- the numbers are only 10, and this simplifies the application and the
>understanding of the accesskeys
>- from 0 to 9 it can be one hierarchical scale.
>         Maurizio
>Maurizio Vittoria
>Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Sunday, 28 September 2003 15:47:41 UTC

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