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

From: Matthew King <mattking@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:11:08 -0700
To: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@alum.mit.edu>
Cc: Marco Zehe <mzehe@mozilla.com>, public-html@w3.org, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFCAF33269.4A8909CA-ON88257D73.0058E154-88257D73.0058E959@us.ibm.com>

Matt King
IBM Senior Technical Staff Member
I/T Chief Accessibility Strategist
IBM BT/CIO - Global Workforce and Web Process Enablement 
Phone: (503) 578-2329, Tie line: 731-7398

From:   Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@alum.mit.edu>
To:     Marco Zehe <mzehe@mozilla.com>, public-html@w3.org, 
Cc:     W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Date:   10/16/2014 07:47 AM
Subject:        Re: Proposal to change documentation on tabindex to 
strongly discourage  values greater 0


Regarding the proposed changes, there is a need to handle old markup 
that uses tabindex values greater than 0.  A possibility is that 
browsers treat tabindex=1+ as if it were tabindex=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 Léonie 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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            - G. Bernhardt -
Received on Thursday, 16 October 2014 16:12:20 UTC

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