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RE: Are we really still talking about Access Keys?

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 10:44:26 -0400
To: "'Patrick Lauke'" <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <006d01c56781$942c4ae0$6401a8c0@bosshog>

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> I'd see it more along the lines of what happens with stylesheets:
> accesskeys defined in a document should be "indicative", but should
> be "overridable" (if that's a word) by user settings.

Agreed, and this appears to be the direction the W3C is steering towards

> The devil's advocate in me would counter: even if actual research
> shows that users do not use accesskeys, could the reason lie in the
> fact that the dominant browsers have, up to now, used a flawed
> mechanism for triggering these accesskeys (conflicting with menu
> shortcuts)? 

Why does this matter now?  If in fact nobody is using them (due to their
implementation flaw), and introducing them opens the possibility of
potential conflict, are those 2 reasons not enough to just stop?

> If from the start the key combination or general method
> had been different (including an accessibility option to force the
> browser to give visual hints about accesskeys present on the current
> page), would more users use (or rather, have used) accesskeys
> (ideally in the model I mention above, where the keys a site
> "suggests" can be overridden globally by user settings)? 

Quite possibly.  If CSS had been envisioned at the outset of GUI browsers,
perhaps we would never have had to endure layouts with tables nested 9
layers deep.

>> Why-oh-why are we still talking about this?
> Because we're nitpickers, the lot of us *smile*

Yes, and tenacious too! (Peace to you Tina!)

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
Phone: 1-613-267-1983 / 1-866-932-4878 (North America) 
Received on Thursday, 2 June 2005 14:44:34 UTC

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