[Bug 7721] New: Drag and Drop is not keyboard accessible


           Summary: Drag and Drop is not keyboard accessible
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: critical
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec bugs
        AssignedTo: dave.null@w3.org
        ReportedBy: schwer@us.ibm.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: ian@hixie.ch, mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

Currently, drag and drop features are not fully keyboard accessible. While the
current specification would indicate that you can do a cut, copy, and a paste
at the target using the keyboard this is a partial implementation of HTML 5's
drag and drop capability and therefore inconsistent with what the user is
intending to do. 

Here are some of the problems:

- What the cut/copy/paste solution lacks is the fact that, although you can
copy to a target, it does not allow you to copy with a reference or link to the
source, meaning that the current specification only allows for a move or a

- You are doing a cut, copy, and paste operations and not a drag and drop
operation. Basically this is saying that people with disabilities are operating
off the clipboard and not doing a drag and drop - this is confusing. 

- Some applications may trigger script when the drop operation occurs such that
the drop causes something to execute. The current design does not allow the
user to choose the drop operation that occurs. It is also confusing to have a
paste perform a function which causes something to execute. 

- Once you have selected items for cut or copy you can navigate around the web
page with the keyboard but you cannot see the items you have grabbed unlike
with drag and drop. The user may be mobility impaired, and not blind, and this
information has been removed from their UI. The mobility impaired sited user
should be able to see what they have grabbed as they navigate with they

In short the user is only provided partial access to HTML 5 drag and drop
functions and usability was not addressed for a person with a disability. 

What I would recommend is that the functions that are execute as a result of
mouse events be executable without having to provide the mouse information to
the JavaScript methods. This way a person keyboard enabling drag and drop can
use all the functionality of the functions executed during mouse drag and drop.
When integrated with WAI-ARIA the full semantics of the drag and drop may be
provided in the content for the user. The user should be able to see the
grabbed items follow the keyboard focus as the navigate the page to the drop

This would be less of an impact to the spec. than an entire rewrite.

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Received on Thursday, 24 September 2009 17:10:28 UTC