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RE: AccessKeys and what to use

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 06:35:05 -0400 (EDT)
To: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
cc: Andrew Arch <amja@optushome.com.au>, Graham Oliver <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0108220625480.31488-100000@tux.w3.org>
There is a problem with how to make it clear what accesskeys are available.

iCab actually allows you to show the key next to the link. (It directly
activates links, and it uses just the key, without any modifier). However,
the SMIL 2.0 approach is slightly different. It allows the user agent to
re-assign keys, since a user agent may not have an "aleph" key, or may
reserve the "shi" key for some other function (as for example windows does).
In the case the User agent Must show the revised mapping, although in any
case it is the user agent that should show the list of accesskeys available.

This is the price that they pay for the freedom to specify exactly how the
accesskey function is triggered, and it is a sensible arrangement. Explorer
uses the Alt modifier, which of course is not available to DoCoMo whose
browser typically runs on a mobile phone. Opera uses most keys already, so
could not take the iCab approach of having no modifier at all. And Amaya
allows the user to choose (to some extent) the modifier used.

For browsers which support CSS2 (there are a couple) you can use the
following in a user style sheet:

 *[accesskey]:after { content: "<" attr(accesskey) ">" }

to get the same as what iCab gives. But a list  of available accesskeys in a
page, like some browsers give a list of links or "table of contents" view,
would go a long way to making it a more useful function for more users.



(By the way, blind users are not the group for whom accesskeys  are most
important, so given the current implementation state it isn't surprising they
don't use them a lot. Things are worse for those people to whom accesskeys
are really important - people who have very limited input devices or for whom
input is very slow).

On Wed, 22 Aug 2001, Simon White wrote:

  Dear All,
  I have just caught up with this thread, so apologies if this has already
  been mentioned.

  I believe that any AccessKeys that are used should be made explicit for
  any one viewing the website, that way there can be no confusion
  whatsoever. IE will allow the use of all numbers for access, but letters
  are a problem for reasons already highlighted...

  Hope this helps.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
  Behalf Of Andrew Arch
  Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 07:10
  To: Graham Oliver; Kynn Bartlett
  Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  Subject: Re: AccessKeys and what to use

  >From a practical point of view, because everyone implements a different
  of AccessKeys, we have found that the blind staff and clients at Vision
  Australia Foundation tend not to use them. They can't rely on on a
  consistent combination being the home-page key for instance from site to
  site, eg Alt-0, like they know that Ctrl-P is the print key with in
  Windows application.

  IMHO it will only work, and be widely adopted and utilised, when we can
  some sort of standard for what a (minimum) set of AccessKeys correspond


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
  To: "Graham Oliver" <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>
  Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
  Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 10:51 AM
  Subject: Re: AccessKeys and what to use

  > Accesskey:  Good idea, poorly thought out implementation.
  > --Kynn

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2001 06:35:15 UTC

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