W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-pfwg@w3.org > October 2014

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

From: Marco Zehe <mzehe@mozilla.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:47:57 +0200
Message-ID: <543FDA9D.1050403@mozilla.com>
To: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@alum.mit.edu>, public-html@w3.org
CC: W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Joseph,

that would be awesome and my preferred solution. The question is if this
can be achieved cross-browser. So I thought I'd start on a slightly
smaller scale. ;)

Marco

On 16.10.2014 16:46, Joseph Scheuhammer wrote:
> +1
>
> 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
>
Received on Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:48:29 UTC

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