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

From: Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:31:40 +0000
To: Fred Esch <fesch@us.ibm.com>, Marco Zehe <mzehe@mozilla.com>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <72bbab396fb74b4d92b8bb035f2add79@BN1PR03MB170.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
+1

Sent from my Windows Phone
________________________________
From: Fred Esch<mailto:fesch@us.ibm.com>
Sent: 10/16/2014 7:29 AM
To: Marco Zehe<mailto:mzehe@mozilla.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org<mailto:public-html@w3.org>; W3C WAI Protocols & Formats<mailto:public-pfwg@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Proposal to change documentation on tabindex to strongly discourage   values greater 0


+1


Regards,

Fred Esch
Accessibility, Watson Innovations
AARB Complex Visualization Working Group Chair
[IBM Watson Group]


[Fred]



[Inactive hide details for Marco Zehe ---10/16/2014 09:10:11 AM---[CC'ing Public PFWG list for info] Hello all!]Marco Zehe ---10/16/2014 09:10:11 AM---[CC'ing Public PFWG list for info] Hello all!

From: Marco Zehe <mzehe@mozilla.com>
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Date: 10/16/2014 09:10 AM
Subject: Proposal to change documentation on tabindex to strongly discourage  values greater 0
________________________________



[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 Lonie Watson in August of 2014:
http://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/2014/08/using-the-tabindex-attribute/

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: https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=27076

--
Marco

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Received on Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:32:13 UTC

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