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Re: Access Element is WRONG (was RE: Are we really still talking about Access Keys?)

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2005 10:49:30 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200506040949.j549nUr16621@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> - the other is author interest.  If the author is not given the opportunity
> to create a complete user experience, they won't create the semantic

If they are given the opportunity, they will use it for branding and lock-in
purposes.  I.E. they will deliberately make it different from the competition,
or at least they will choose keys without attempting to obtain a consensus,
except where a few de facto standards eventually arise (although the 
UK government stealing the defacto standard for Save doesn't bode well
for that).

> identify the top hot-key-able targets in the page.  Else, not.  We need
> them identified; we need the carrot to bring the authors to the table.

If you use this psychology, you need to build features into the
language that force authors to provide enough information to allows
a knowledgeable user, or at least a browser vendor who is not really
pandering to the authoring market, to discover the real semantics of the
hot key.  You can go part way by requiring that the key code always be
associated with another attribute, but you can't force authors to use
that attribute properly, in the same way that you can't force them to
use alt, or Hn properly.

Knowing that something is a hot key but has an arbitrary name is still
a long way from providing an easy to learn user interface for the whole
public web.

Without the real semantics, you are in the current situation with other
consequences of branding overriding user interface guidelines, that 
you need an expert user and a custom user style sheet for each site, if
not each page, to straighten out the user interface.  Generally authors
don't want it to be easy to straighten out user interfaces because that
destroys the branding and lock-in.

One way of forcing an attribute, although vulnerable to the "class='red'"
syndrome, is indirection.  I.E. you don't allow authors to directly specify
the access key, but, instead, they must specify a reference to a seperate
element that contains the authors preferred access keys and might also
have to contain text that explains the key.  The descriptive text and the
raw key name probaby ought to be content, so that the key to the access
keys gets rendered by default.

Actually, I don't really think that XHTML 2 is intended for people trying
to, in the marketing jargon, "create a user experience".  I think it is
more for creating documentation, something that tends to happen within
large, technology companies only on intranets and by people with real
information, rather than just image, on the public internet.

It may well get picked up by the advertising industry (i.e. the popular
web), but that is likely to be for the wrong reasons, basically stemming
from fashion (looks good on CVs) and because it provides new work for
training companies and book publishers who will promote its use to
promote the sale of their products.
Received on Saturday, 4 June 2005 10:08:16 UTC

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