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Issue #69: Character key commands

From: Greg Lowney <gcl-0039@access-research.org>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2017 22:33:42 -0800
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <e50cf874-a7a6-3482-f547-e603ffb21f65@access-research.org>
The latest draft wording as of 2017-05-15 reads "Character Key Shortcuts: If a keyboard shortcut consisting entirely of character keys is implemented by the web page, then a mechanism is available to turn it off or to remap it to a shortcut that uses at least one non-printing key. (Level A)".

On further reflection, *I see no reason to limit this SC to keyboard shortcuts* implemented by content rather than have it apply more broadly to all keyboard commands implemented by content. That is, if a script traps the F key and uses it to toggle between normal and full-screen modes, it is equally bad for the user whether it does so by activating a button on the page that toggles the mode (making it a shortcut) or merely toggling the mode independently of any controls (in which case it's not a shortcut). Generalizing it also lets us avoid having to define keyboard shortcuts.

However, if the keyboard command is the only way to carry out a action, then it is not acceptable for the content to merely disable the keyboard command. We can address this by adding the caveat "without loss of content of functionality" we're using elsewhere. In fact, this should probably be added in any case.

I also have three *purely editorial comments*: (1) We're supposed to use the term "content" rather than "web page". (2) We should standardize on either "character key" or "printing key" rather than mixing the two terms in the same to mean the same thing. While "printing key" is the one I'm more used to seeing in the past, I think "character key" is more intuitive to readers unfamiliar with the concept. (3) Although it may be overly pedantic, "entirely of character keys" actually introduces ambiguity as to whether the plural implies it must be more than one character key. To avoid that we could say "consisting entirely of one or more character keys" or "that does not include any non-character keys".

Incorporating the *editorial changes alone* would change it to read: "Character Key Shortcuts: If a keyboard shortcut consisting entirely of /one or more/ character keys is implemented by the /content/, then a mechanism is available to turn it off or to remap it to /use/ at least one non-/character/ key. (Level A)"

Incorporating the change to *keyboard commands alone* would change it to read: "Character Key /Commands/: If a keyboard /command/ consisting entirely of character keys is implemented by the web page, then a mechanism is available to turn it off or to remap it to a command that uses at least one non-printing key/, without loss of content or functionality/. (Level A)".

Incorporating *both sets of changes* would change it to read: "Character Key /Commands/: If a keyboard /command/ consisting entirely of /one or more/ character keys is implemented by the /content/, then a mechanism is available to turn it off or to remap it to /use/ at least one non-/character/ key/, without loss of content or functionality/. (Level A)"

     Thanks,
     Greg
Received on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 05:34:01 UTC

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