[whatwg] Accesskey in Web Forms 2

On 11 Nov, 2004, at 4:26 AM, James Graham wrote:
> Matthew Thomas wrote:
>> More common, perhaps, would be for UAs to automatically create (and 
>> display on the page) shortcuts for form controls that had been used 
>> frequently in the past.
> ...
>> (Well, it's a problem, but only because UA vendors haven't bothered 
>> to implement the necessary underlining, not because of any spec 
>> deficiency.)
> ...
>> UA vendors have had over six years to come up with non-awkward 
>> support for accesskey=.
> I don't understand. What makes you think that vendors would implement 
> the complex code/UI needed to enble custom, per-site accesskeys when 
> you note that they've already failed to implement simple enhancements 
> that would make the current accesskey scheme more user friendly?

Good question. History has shown that UA vendors find it much easier to 
implement UI features (tabbed windows, download managers, customizable 
toolbars, etc) than to implement layout engine features (full HTML4 
support, full CSS2 support, a "Fit to Window" function, smart table 
header scrolling, etc). (This is probably also why there are many more 
graphical UAs today than there are layout engines.)

Unfortunately, implementing accesskey underlining would require a new 
layout engine feature -- a :-foobrowser-accesskey pseudo-class, which 
could then be selected for underlining -- which is apparently why UA 
vendors haven't bothered. Implementing the automatic shortcut key 
creation scheme I described above, however, would require only CSS2 
generated content (to display the shortcut in the document), and that 
is already supported in all major layout engines except for Trident.

Matthew Thomas

Received on Saturday, 13 November 2004 20:45:18 UTC