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Access Key Querks

From: <carl.myhill@ps.ge.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 08:55:35 -0400
Message-ID: <6192367D59F8904CA553579EF41FEEA001C8FF3F@ukcbgx01psge.geips.ge.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: carl.myhill@bigfoot.com

Hi All,

Am having a couple of problems with Access Keys on my latest site,
http://www.aquariusclub.net/

The access keys work really nicely on Mozilla and IE Mac but are pretty
hopeless on IE6 Windows.

On IE 6 some access keys work ok, eg 1, 8, 4, G, 9. With all of these, the
access key gives the appropriate link the focus and you hit return to go to
the page.  This is OK I think.

Problem 1
=========

With Access key 6 and 0 (mapped to the same link), the statusbar shows the
right link but the link itself does not get focus. Which is weird and looks
like it doesn't work.  

This key is here for pages which show the menu...
<div id="menu">
	<ul>
	<li><a href="/help/" accesskey="0" >Help</a><em> [6/0]</em><a
href="/help/" accesskey="6" ></a></li>
	</ul>
</div>

And here for pages which don't show the link explicitly...

<!-- =============== More stuff for access keys =============== -->
<!--Just one last thing, a little hidden link hooked up to the access key
for 'what's new' and 'Help'. Put it down here at the bottom out of the
way-->
<p><a href="#startcontent" accesskey="2"></a><a href="#startcontent"
accesskey="s"></a>
<a href="/help/" accesskey="0" ></a><a href="/help/" accesskey="6" ></a>
</p>

Perhaps what is happening is that, even on the page with the menu and the
hidden link, IE tries to put focus on something which is not visible.
Perhaps the answer is to make a visible Help link on every page.


Problem 2
=========
My skip navigation thing seems to work ok when someone has forced the CSS
off, like this...

CSS...
/*hides accessibility skip navigation link from people who dont need it*/
.skiplink {display:none} 

HTML near the top...
<!--Skip over navigation for disabled people using reader devices who want
to get straight to the content. This string is invisible to regular
browsers-->
<!--'Alt+S' to skip navigation - uk government standard-->
<p class="skiplink"><a class="skiplink" href="#startcontent"
accesskey="s">Skip over navigation</a></p> 


So, the link becomes visible with CSS off and everything is fine.


But, the shortcut key to skip content should also work with CSS ON (why
not?). So, I again use a hidden link at the bottom of the HTML to pick this
up...
<!-- =============== More stuff for access keys =============== -->
<!--Just one last thing, a little hidden link hooked up to the access key
for 'what's new' and 'Help'. Put it down here at the bottom out of the
way-->
<p><a href="#startcontent" accesskey="2"></a><a href="#startcontent"
accesskey="s"></a>
<a href="/help/" accesskey="0" ></a><a href="/help/" accesskey="6" ></a>
</p>


But, IE6 scrolls the page down to this invisible link, rather than scrolling
it to #startcontent.


In writing this, perhaps I have answered my own question - perhaps I just
need to put the hidden link next to the #startcontent, so that the odd IE
behaviour does the right thing?


I feel a bit silly pressing send now I have answered my own question but if
anyone has any better ideas I'd love to hear about them!

Cheers

Carl
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2003 08:58:21 GMT

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