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Re: New internal draft of HTML techniques

From: <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 16:59:54 -0400
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFB6ACBE44.6CAAE2BD-ON85256EDE.00721B8D-85256EDE.0073B0C7@notesdev.ibm.com>
Paul Bohman wrote:
The technique (15.6) currently states "Create a logical tab order 
through links, form controls, and objects." I think I would prefer to 
reword it to say "Ensure a logical tab order..." This is because much of 
the time the tab order can be quite logical without adding tabindex 
attributes. Using tabindex should be a technique reserved for instances 
in which the default tab order is insufficient. Using tabindex increases 
the complexity of the design, and increases the possibility of 
introducing tab order problems at the same time that you're trying to 
fix them.

Becky responds: I agree that if used improperly tabindex can cause 
problems,  While I don't have any problems cautioning people on the use of 
tabindex, I do want to make sure that we don't completely discourage its 
use.  In IE (and in the future, Mozilla) tabindex can be used to 
programmatically set focus to an element that does not receive focus by 
default (for example,  <div> or <span>).  This can be very powerful for 
creating more accessible keyboard navigation that does work with the 
screen readers (in IE on Windows). While that isn't the intent in this 
technique I did want to mention the benefits of tabindex when used 
properly with JavaScript.

Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
Email: gibsonb@us.ibm.com
Received on Tuesday, 27 July 2004 17:01:02 UTC

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