W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 1998

Re: FORM, text input, Enter and Submit...

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 11:19:28 -0400
Message-ID: <358E7600.9866CB2@clark.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
CC: webmaster@dol.gov
Thanks very much for this analysis.  To me, it seemed to be random as to
when the enter key acted  as the submit button.  I don't know if I agree
with Claus as to the utility of this "feature".  I would  think that
consistent behavior is more desirable than situation dependent shortcuts,
especially when one can't count "INPUT TYPE=TEXT" without looking at
source code (and some author will put two or more short forms right after
each other, making it look like one long form), especially with a
screen-reader (since "big" and "small" forms will sound the same
initially, and "big" is defined by the number of text fields -- not the
number of fields, and not the length of the form)!

Does anyone have similar tips for navigating pop-up lists?  We have tried
various combinations of the insert key, space bar, cursor keys, and enter
key.  I can't say that I feel like we've this down to an algorithm!

If anyone is adventuresome, suggestions on navigating America's Job Bank
would be most appreciated.  Try:

Our state's version of this is:

Most (all?) US states and territories have the same service (replace the
"md" with whatever)!

I've already gotten you past the frames and into the "meat" with the
above links.  AJB recently went through a major redesign that did not
take access into consideration.  I have tried to contact the "powers that
be" there.  They give the standard excuses/promises.  Since they may be
sincere I won't post names and my exchanges with them here.  On the other
hand, spontaneous prompts from  other parts of the country can't be a bad

In any case, the AJB related pages are a resource that web-enabled staff
at my agency use on a regular basis.  Those staff with screen-readers
report that the site is very nearly impossible to navigate.  I have done
what I can, but we need help from you good people.  We are currently
blessed/limited with the combination of Artic WinVision and MS Internet
Explorer 3.02m.  Any advice?  Please reply on or off the list as you feel

Thanks very much,
Bruce Bailey
webmaster and access specialist for the Maryland Division of
Rehabilitation Services

Claus Thoegersen wrote:

> Hi,
> The possibility of submitting a form by pressing enter even though
> the focus is not on the submit button, is very important. By behaving
> this way IE4 saves keyboard users a lot of keystrokes in big forms
> lets say with 8 controls. The first control is the important edit
> field and the following 6 controls are of less importance. Because IE
> let's you submit the form when the first field is filled in you as a
> keyboard user does not have to use the tab key 6 times to get to the
> submit button. The only other way to accomplish this is to use
> accesskeys in forms, and then the user has to know wich keys are
> assigned to the controls.
> Regards
> Claus Thøgersen
Received on Monday, 22 June 1998 11:11:27 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:01 UTC