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Find as you type for navigation

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper@tverskov.dk>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 09:20:09 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002101c6b14d$17fa8510$b241d458@bravo>


I have tested the "Find as you type" feature in the newest versions of
Firefox and Opera to see how close they are to give us an easy way to go to
links and navigate a website using the keyboard.
 
They are pretty close but not there yet.

In Firefox to find a letter in a link you press apostrophe (') and slip it
again and then a letter in the link. In Opera it is comma (,). In both
browsers F3 will move focus to the next match.

The above is probably ok if we want to find something in a link. But that is
not what we want when we navigate a website using this "Find" substitute for
short cut keys.

We want to go to a link we have already spotted, or we want to go to a link
and have already guessed what the name is like "home", "next", "search",
"contact".

In order to use "Find as you type" for link navigation, in a simple way that
will work for most people, it should only consider the first letter of the
link text.

As far as I remember even this was once an option in Netscape.

Also both Opera and Firefox have this "creeping featurism" problem. It is ok
to have a lot of extra options for advanced users but the basic features
should work right away.

For links "Find as you type" should as default only consider one character,
and only the first one in the link text.

Best regards,

Jesper Tverskov
www.smackthemouse.com
Received on Thursday, 27 July 2006 07:20:27 GMT

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