Re: Accesskey - spec proposal

Maciej Stachowiak <>, 2007-07-03 03:30 -0700:

> What's an example of a suitable rapid access method? On the Mac, I don't 
> think any single modifier key would work. For example, command-A, option-A, 
> control-A and shift-A all have a predefined standard action in text fields. 
> I know control and alt are often used for commands on Windows. It seems 
> like other options would not be discoverable, usable, or indeed rapid.

It doesn't need to be a key combination. For example, while
viewing a page in Konqueror, if you press and release just the
Ctrl/Control key without pressing another key:

  - you are put into access-key mode
  - tooltip-like pop-ups appear showing all the access keys for the page

That's discoverable in that it's likely that at some point as a
user you will accidentally hit the Ctrl key and notice the
access-key pops appears, and it doesn't bump up against other
existing standard actions.

All that said, the desktop use case for accesskey is far less
important than the use case for accesskey on devices that only
have keypads instead of full keyboards.

In fact, access-key markup is already in ubiquitous use in content
delivered to mobile browsers, so not spec'ing and supporting it
going forward isn't an option.

But that context, it's harder to come up with a good way to make
them discoverable. But I guess it could be argued that the
standard behavior should be that in mobile browsers you are in
access-key mode by default (that is in fact how most mobile
browsers work today) and what needs to be discoverable instead is
how to activate the browser's proprietary bindings to its own


Michael(tm) Smith

Received on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 11:03:58 UTC