Re: Proposal to change documentation on tabindex to strongly discourage values greater 0

We appear to have agreement that an initial step is to add informative
advice in the spec. I suggest to add it in the tabindex definition
section[1] and cross reference it in other sections as appropriate.

Input on what form the guidance should take is welcome, but I am also happy
to add some text to the spec, to get the ball rolling.




HTML 5.1 <>

On 16 October 2014 14:09, Marco Zehe <> wrote:

>  [CC'ing Public PFWG list for info]
> Hello all!
> This is a proposal to declare tabIndex values > 0 invalid in the spec and
> the validator, or at least strongly advise against the use of positive
> integers values for this attribute.
> Rationale: The tabIndex attribute is used to make items focusable with the
> keyboard and programmatically. Currently, it takes three classes of values:
>    - 0: The element is made focusable, and it is integrated into the tab
>    order at its location in the DOM.
>    - -1: The element is made focusable, but is skipped in the tab order,
>    but can still take focus programmatically.
>    - > 0: The items are put in the tab order first, and their order is
>    determined by the actual value. Only if all those elements have been
>    traversed via tab, does the order in the DOM take effect.
> This third class of values has in the past lead to nothing but frustration
> among web developers and keyboard users, judging from feedback I get in my
> day to day accessibility work. Due to author error, which mostly stems from
> lack of awareness, tab order on many sites that use tabIndex improperly is
> erratic and not user-friendly. For further reading on this, I suggest a
> post published on the Paciello Group blog by LĂ©onie Watson in August of
> 2014:
>  Proposed changes:
>    1. Include explicit advice to not use tabIndex with a value greater
>    than 0 in the next version of the documentation.
>    2. Change the W3C validator to spit out an error on tabIndex values
>    other than 0 and -1.
> Associated bug:
> --
> Marco

Received on Tuesday, 4 November 2014 11:24:34 UTC