W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Navigation/performaing an action within a grid

From: Hadi Rangin <hadi@uiuc.edu>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 09:53:19 -0500
Message-ID: <F3F0D25377CF49EFAE39A674BD9C19EE@ad.uiuc.edu>
To: "Earl Johnson" <earlj.biker@gmail.com>, "W3C WAI-Xtech" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Cc: "Donald Amos" <dwamos@pstcc.edu>, "Jon Gunderson" <jongund@uiuc.edu>

Hi Earl,

Thank you very much for your feedback/comments.
As indicated, the proposed behavior is not complete and I am hoping we all 
together can complete and tune it up. Please find my response/suggestion 
below:

> 1. What happens if the grid cell is in Action mode, it contains actionable
> elements, and it also has a grid embedded in it that contains actionable
> elements itself?

I suggest to pass the current mode recursively throughout the nested grids. 
It means if the most outer grid is in action mode, all nested grids will 
inherit the current mode. Does anyone see any problem with this?

> 2. As a visual keyboard user, I like the thought of having a mode that 
> [I'm
> assuming] instantly shows all actionable elements in the grid cell, text
> fields in particular; but should Navigation be the default mode instead?
>   = The DHTML tables I've run across expose links, check boxes, buttons,
> etc but don't expose text fields and areas till they are clicked.
>   = This is the default mode spreadsheets use in my experience.
>   = Does the "show widget role" guidance require specific styling 
> guidance?
>        * Is this part of what you had in mind?

Setting the Action mode as default mode will help users to quickly 
interacting with the form controls in the grid cells without taking any 
extra steps. Keyboard users in particular screen reader users are already 
used to complex key combinations and using their fingers and toes when 
interacting with form controls. :) So pressing a couple of extra keys won't 
change their lives very much.
You can interact with all actionable items including form controls and in 
particular text boxes immediately without going through any extra step. So 
if in Action mode you focus to a text box, you should be able to manipulate 
it immediately.
As far as if it is like Excel, I don't think so. If I am not mistaking, in 
Excel, you have to press F2 in order to to be able to edit the current 
value. The behavior In the keyboard model I am suggesting, when you are in 
Action mode, you can manipulate the value of a text box as soon as you focus 
to it.

> 3. Action mode being the default works for the first grid cell but what
> happens focus is on the last actionable element in a cell and tab is
> pressed?
>   = Being default, this suggests to me that pressing tab should keep input
> mode in Action mode and move focus to the next cell with an actionable
> element in it.
>   = Isn't this closer to how spreadsheets work?

I am not sure that I understand your questions. Of course, we can always 
discuss it further in our teleconference but so far I understand, you are 
concerned about pressing tab key off of last actionable element in a grid.
The tab key should take the focus to the next focusable element in the page 
and the current mode remains unchanged (Action mode).

> 4. The proposal suggests a Tab press moves focus out of the grid entirely
> when in Action mode and focus is on the last actionable element.Perhaps a
> Tab press should act more like an F2 press first then have it move focus 
> out
> of the grid?
>   = I'm assuming F2 keeps focus on the current cell.
>   = Another assumption is, while still different, this action will be
> closer to what the novice , standard data table user expects as opposed to
> what is now proposed - focus leaves the table.

I do not see any need to press F2 in order to leave the grid. The action 
mode will provide an environment similar to what users are experiencing 
today. The Navigation mode is thought mainly for Screen Reader users to 
navigate through the grid to understand what kind of data they are dealing 
with without manipulating it accidentally. So if you as a visual keyboard 
user want to interact with your grid and all elements in it, you can decide 
how quickly you can get to your desired elements. If your desired actionable 
elements are a few tab key away, then you press the tab key to get there; 
note that you are by default in Action mode. If you are like me a non-visual 
keyboard user, then you switch to Navigation mode to familiarize yourself 
with the layout and elements in your grid first. While I am navigation 
through the grid, if I run into an actionable element that I want to 
manipulate, then I switch to the Action mode, perform desired manipulation, 
switch back to Navigation mode and continue with my interaction.

> 6. The arrow keys work inside groups of radio [and check?] buttons?
Yes as long as you are in Action mode.

> 7. Should Arrow keys move focus as described if in Action mode and input
> focus is on the last actionable element?

Do you mean if the arrow keys would move the focus to the next actionable 
element when you are in a text box?
If you mean it, then no. If you are in the Action mode and the focus is on a 
text box, the arrow keys, home, end keys, backspace and delete keys, 
control+backspace and control+delete keys perform their usual edit 
functions.

> 8. Does Cntrl+Tab move focus out of  a Text area?

No.  You can use tab and shift+tab to move out and in to a text area.
Isn't control+tab is reserved by browsers to switch to the next browser tab?

> 9. The user of standard tables will be confused when they run across DHTML
> tables.
>    = Can this styleguide provide visual style guidance that helps user
> recognition on sites containing standard and DHTML tables without leaving
> the developer confused]?.
I don't see the confusion you see.


Thanks,
Hadi
Received on Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:05:15 UTC

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