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RE: Key bindings... (user agents - was accesskey was ...)

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 20:29:51 -0500
To: <geoff@deering.id.au>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <chaals@opera.com>
Message-ID: <005001c6164e$8943a610$6501a8c0@bosshog>

 Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> And the HTML and similar groups should leave that bit of markup alone,

> fix  their specifications, and let us move on to deal with other 
> problems. (And  my good mate John should see the light and stop 
> worrying about the key  attribute so much, in order to concentrate on 
> getting rel right. But he'll  keep on with both, I guess ;)

When a foolproof method exists to avoid tom-foolery such as: 

  "Acc<span style="text-decoration:underline;">e</span>ssibility" 

...then I will rest.  The continued problem with author proposed keys is
that the author will then set about telling the end user which key it is
- this is simply human nature - why else choose a specific key if you do
not plan to share that info?  And if they get it wrong, the same old
issues as before crop up.  

Declare the intent, and leave the end user mechanism to the end user:
remember too that we are talking about more than just user agents here,
there is also the Adaptive Technology layer for those users who need it
and they often have keystroke requirements as well.  

So it's a balancing act between author rights and needs and user rights
and needs, between "nice to have" features vs. "possibly really getting
it really wrong" frustration.  I argue for the least harm principle.
Chaals has admitted "...the value inside, the hinted key, may even be
useful at times. Although that's the *least of its benefits* (emphasis
mine), and the thing that has caused most of its problems."
and further stated that any author who proposes a key without getting
the role/rel aspect correct should be "slapped" - a sentiment I share,
but my frequent flyer points cannot support.  How do we ensure that
developers don't do this very thing? I suggest you take away @key and
leave them the rest - you can't break what you can't touch.

I will agree that the whole issue is the responsibility of all groups
(content authors, W3C, user agent developers, etc.) to work on this, and
that yes, the REL attribute is equally useful here (and BTW, REL never
needed the @key attribute... ;))


John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
Phone: 1-613-482-7053  
Received on Wednesday, 11 January 2006 01:30:11 UTC

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