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When actions speak louder than words

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 11:08:42 -0500
To: <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <014301c6057f$aafc8860$6501a8c0@bosshog>

Hi All,

Not sure how many of you monitor the GAWDS (Guild of Accessible Web
Developers) mailing list, but you might be interested in some recent
developments (on, what else, my favorite topic).

Gez Lemon of Juicy Studios has worked up a basic PHP script
(subsequently being tweaked and converted to a PHP Class by Rich Pedley)
which allows end users to do their own key mapping:

Preferences are stored in a cookie, but the balance of the script is
server side (yipee!).  Another developer has already taken the idea and
ported it to an ASP script:

There is currently some discussion regarding setting some type of
"default" that could be quickly selected (via a checkbox? or...) to
address users with mobility impairments, but these are wrinkles.

More news on this as it unfolds...


I am getting very tired arguing this point, but I will not give up.  The
above examples illustrate exactly the type of functionality that end
users require, and nowhere within the above is there a need for the
author to supply *any* specific key - rather, the flexibility and
ultimate accessibility of the above is that the end user has total
control; no need to worry which key may be claimed by any particular
user configuration - generally there are _some_ unreserved keys
available to the end user regardless of the configuration.

Based on the work above, can anybody really continue to advocate the
author need to supply key mappings?  Can I get *any* support to convince
the HTML authors that the @key attribute is archaic, potentially
dangerous, and, simply dumb?  It must be removed from the current XHTML
2 Draft!  The cavalier and dismissive "Official" responses I am
receiving are not even grounded in logic or fact:
(http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html-editor/2005OctDec/0037) -
my "favorites" are suggesting that JAWS is flawed because the W3C
webmaster mapped Accesskey "T" (which breaks* just about every Windows
based browsers' native mapping to "Tools"), and that the mobile
community requires the absolute need to map a keystroke due to the
number of keys they have available, all the while refusing to understand
that if I mapped to the letter "S", the same mobile community is further
behind than ahead. I am doubly troubled that the response lacks even the
basic requirements for Dissent Resolution as outlined within the W3C

Food for thought.

Season's Best y'all.

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
Phone: 1-613-482-7053  

* Breaks = If you press ALT and T simultaneously, it takes you to the
"W3C Technical Reports and Publications" page in Firefox and puts the
focus on the link to that page in IE; if you press Alt *then* T, it
opens the Tools dialogue in both of those browsers... However, I wonder
aloud how many users know that there are 2 ways of performing this
action, with different results?
Received on Tuesday, 20 December 2005 16:09:47 UTC

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