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RE: HTML Techniques: 'tabindex'

From: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 09:53:33 +0100 (MET)
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <4543.1068627213@www44.gmx.net>

Some unsorted feedback...

Michael Cooper:

> We consider this a user agent problem, not a problem with the
> use of tabindex in theory, but a sufficiently widespread problem that 
> we felt it was best to say in so many words, "don't do this for now".

So I'm interested in further recommendations, because I see advantages
(don't have the need to 'tab' down fifty navigation links) as well as
disadvantages (maybe some Usability problems; it has to be determined how profoundly they
are, I guess).

> In current user
> agents, is tabindex for form controls in a different "tabspace" than
> tabindex for links? Should it be? Should it explicitly not be?

I think an alternative 'tabspace' might be helpful, but changing the order
within a form only confuses users, so I'm not sure if this feature is needed
at all (assuming the 'default tab order' is consistent). IMO it's
inconsiderate to change the tab order of form elements because it only proves that the
displayed order ain't sufficient. In consequence I'm not sure if the HTML
Techniques example is appropriate.

Doyle Burnett:

> In response to the question of button order for form submission I agree
> that a standard may be useful.

AFAIK there is an established convention by (normally, in some cases there
might be exceptions) displaying the 'Submit' (or whatever similar) button
first, followed by the negative option ('Cancel', 'Reset'). A good example are
operating systems (check the UNIX or Windows dialogues), inter alia. I don't
think that this has to be changed, and the more common a solution is
(convention), the better Usability it offers.

Related to the 'priority' or 'importance' sorting (of buttons) I think it's
quite reasonable not to offer 'Okay' first when the user is e.g about to
format its hard drive -- but I'm not that familiar with dialogues of this kind.

Sailesh Panchang:

> So the HTML technique should suggest: use tabindex for links on pages 
> where other navigation controls like skip nav are not being employed. 
> And where it is necessary to use a skip nav link, the author should 
> attempt to arrange the links so as to obviate the need for tabindex. 

What do you concretely mean in this case? (I better want to ask first before
starting to criticize anything...)

All the best,

Jens Meiert
Interface Architect

Received on Wednesday, 12 November 2003 03:53:34 UTC

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