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RE: [WebAIM] More data on accesskeys (New article written Nov. 1)

From: Alastair Campbell <ac@nomensa.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 23:10:11 -0000
Message-ID: <2A876A583754DD4E8E03CFE899FA16068F6433@saturn.intranet.nomensa.com>
To: "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I wrote:
> being able to validate your markup is very 
> re-assuring... Is that what you meant, 
> or can you check for well-formedness regardless of DOCTYPE?

Lachlan wrote:
> You seem to be mixing concepts. 

Yes, sorry, I concatenated that too much. I'm happy with the concepts of
well-formedness and validation, I was just struggling with what
alternative was being proposed.

RELAX NG was mentioned, the last time I came across that was working on
an XML based document transformation project in about 2001 (I think),
but we didn't actually use it and I don't remember much about it.

>From what you said here:
> The important question is not simply whether a document 
> conforms to the 
> rules it expresses for itself, but whether or not it conforms to the 
> rules and requirements expressed by the one asking the question.

I guess that would mean that the HTML5 'validator' would use a schema
(based on it's understanding of HTML5) rather than trying to use a DTD?

I've no problem with that, I just wasn't sure what alternative was being
put forward. (I assumed there was an alterative, I just hoped it would
be as easy to test with!)

On using <link>s Lachlan wrote:
> I don't understand.  Regardless of whether you put the site 
> navigation in the page content or use links in the head, the links
> need to be present in every page.  However, for practical reasons,
> navigation link you include as a <link> in the head would have to be 
> duplicated in the body anyway, so using link elements for such
purposes is 
> practically redundant in the real world anyway.

There are two situations here, for within-page navigation I agree (e.g.
going to the navigation area of the page).

However, a (relatively) common use of accesskeys is site-wide
navigation, such as accesskey 1 for home, 2 for help, and whatever the
other UK Government ones were that you shouldn't use.

Those could also be provided through <link>s in the <head> (like the
chapter & index ones), but why not have one link to a file that contains
the site-wide definition of this constant site navigation?

I'm not convinced it is needed, but it is generally what people have
used accesskeys for so far. (Given the poor take up of accesskeys as a
concept on the user-side, it hasn't really been tested for usefulness

> But there's still the issue that the functionality provided 
> by any use of <link> as a navigation link can be done equally well, 
> if not better, with a regular <a href="" rel=""> link.

For those present on the page, I agree, but using links in the head
means it doesn't have to be, and a separate file would help ensure

Btw, I hope you do continue your series on XBL, it's great to have an
easy to understand overview of upcoming specs, for those of us who
haven't had the time digest them whole yet.

Kind regards,


Alastair Campbell         |  Director of User Experience

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