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RE: Accesskey consensus

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 07:55:28 -0400
To: "Matthew Smith" <matt@kbc.net.au>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENMEGJDLAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

Matthew,

You asked
>
> Would it be fair to say, therefore, that defining Accesskeys is a waste
> of time unless one is designing for a controlled environment such as an
> intranet?
>

I personally would have to say yes.  Using ACCESSKEYs assumes many different
"givens", which simply cannot be assumed over the "world wide" web.  Does
the OS/User Agent support the feature?  Does it conflict with other
applications? (Both JAWS and IBM HPR use various ACCESSKEY type keystroke
combinations to provide functionality to the screen reader.  I have not used
or tested WindowEyes or Kurtzweil readers, but presumably they do too.)
Finally, unless users return to the same page repeatedly, how will they know
or why should they bother to learn the ACCESSKEYs assigned to your site?
Unless there is a Universal Standard (sic) developers are in fact free to
use whatever they like... ALT + Z could be Return to Top... why? because I
like that combination(?).... Doesn't make any real sense.

> Like the recent/current discussion of placemarking text in <input/>
> elements, this is something that may be easily checked and used as a
> measure of compliance by those who do not see the "big picture".  What
> say the WCAG folks to issues like this?

You are right, and it is just another cross we currently have to bear.  I
will be glad when the WCAGv2 (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/) becomes a
reality.

JF
Received on Wednesday, 28 May 2003 13:28:10 GMT

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