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Keys to open the Web

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 09:57:53 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Information received from Bryan Campell:

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>Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 09:22:44 -0400
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>To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
>From: Bryan Campbell <bryany@pathcom.com>
>Subject: Keys to open the Web
>Here's what I sent to Gunderson; figured u should see it in case it never
>gets to the group. Though its mild to give MS & NS *1* chance to says oops.
>Actually you're most likely to dislike it as O would have to be reworked if
>they adopt a standard. Well, no need to worry about reworking O :)
>Using a browser only via keyboard commands can be easy if the browser has
>extension 1 key control. I'm disabled & type with a headwand, 1st on
>typewriters the last 20 years on varied computer keyboards. Having used
>macro programs to reduce the amount of work & distance required to run
>applications I have some specific ideas about keyboard command layout in
>browsers. Key layout always matters to me as I can work TV & VCR remote
>controls with my left hand if the buttons are not too small & have space
>around them [such separation applies to browser key placement]. Dr Gunderson
>accepted my request to present a note to this group to give a glimpse into
>actual use. BTW having easy to use font &/or image Zoom isn't an impairment
>issue, everyone likes it, sometimes page design needs help to be seen by
>most people.:)
>In keyboard driven browsing the page control keys just right of ENTER are
>important so the Web navigation keys should be around ENTER [which gets a
>link]. The enhanced keyboard is huge for anyone using just 1 digit, be it
>head or hand; & key combinations add tiring, extra work while individual
>keys go unused. Example: SHIFT-TAB to get the previous Anchor means 2
>keystrokes which is hard as I'm unsteady & apt to miss the desired link so
>it can take 4 keystrokes to pick a link. Just as Page Up & Down are paired
>on the Keypad area Web navigation controls must be paired on the main
>Some pairs I mean are move Anchor highlight up & down & next page & back to
>previous page. Vertical or horizontal pairing might provide a cue about what
>movement occurs, 
>perhaps a UI designer could comment. BACKSPACE for page back & the "=" key
>for page ahead. The "[" key for Anchor up and ";" key for down [this is only
>for links]. Form boxes should be selected via TAB & SHIFT-TAB, for limited
>use a key combo is fine because it actually lessens chances users get into
>an unwanted mode. Using O or Zero seems too confusing so lets use 9 for
>Previous Frame & I as Next Frame [& Anchor movements should cycle within a
>Frame, not the whole page]. DHTML Layers K as Up & "," as Down with U to
>Activate events. The 9, I, K, & "," keys are roughly in line vertically yet
>key rows are offset so its harder to slide up or down then left or right,
>where the sides of keys fully in line making a mistaken push easier. Because
>Frames & Layers divide pages up it would help if browsers used sound files
>to say Frames &/or Layers are on a page. Moving between HTML Headings hasn't
>been too helpful as many Web pages are non-linear so Headings doesn't
>resemble Pg-Down command to get to a lower sub-section, H & N will do.
>Other keys have much use as seen in Opera Software's use of Function keys.
>BTW I strongly hold that Opera is the only keyboard usable browser; yes the
>others have keyboard shortcuts which are too tiring to use very long. To get
>a taste of what its like put keyboard Repeat to very short & Rate very fast,
>key combos become a huge challenge, to say the least. Now function keys. F9
>toggles forms input [& nav] on & off. F8 highlights the current URL for
>Coping & lets people give Opera a URL to get. F7 allows Hotlist editing. F3
>Find on current page. I have a macro on F6 to display Hotlist as a Menu,
>it'd be a fine addition to browsers. Probably a key combo to toggle keyboard
>focus between browser & a Java applet is needed. When Java has keyboard
>focus it be great if it used the Link & Page command keys to navigate the
>applet with Enter as execute. Those 5 main function should also be repeat on
>the left of the keyboard to aid left handed people. Also that group should
>only use 1st or 2nd key rows accommodating those who can't reach across the
>whole keyboard. Of course, if this layout were put on a Dvorak keyboard key
>usage would need to be changed to keep key placement. Thanks for reading, I
>look forward to all browsers being very keyboard friendly.
>-> "I don't need to stand to talk, to advise, & to generally make a pain in
>the ass out of myself." Dr. Stephen Franklin, "Babylon 5": 'Shadow Dancing'
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Wednesday, 13 May 1998 10:55:56 UTC

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