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Re: Standard Keyboard Controls?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 18:18:10 -0500 (EST)
To: Kristi R Schueler/NONFS/USDAFS <kschueler@fs.fed.us>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101221805580.14070-100000@tux.w3.org>
In fact the standard way to do it is to include a link element, and let the
browser define how it is activated. The specification has been in HTML since
at least version 2 if I recall correctly.

For example,

<link rel="start" href="/myhome.html" />
<link rel="next" href="page7" />
<link rev="author" href="mailto:someone@some.net" />
<!-- You may be familiar with this type, which some browsers process
themselves: -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cool.asn.au/style.css" />

Lynx provides these as links from the top of the page. iCab, a graphical
browser, makes them available in a small button bar like bookmarks might be.
(It's a very cool implementation, in my opinion).

It is not a bad idea to also provide an accesskey for an explicit link to
these things. The problem is that there is no way of being sure that your
user can directly use the accesskey - they may not have it on their keyboard.

My recommmendation would be to do  both - use the link elements, and have a
navbar with accesskeys. The only one I have come across really really often
is "c" for contents. (In fact it is legal to use klingon characters as
accesskeys, which really just shows that although accesskey is an extremely
good idea it is insufficiently specified in HTML at the moment.) I know that
Internet Explorer (the implementation with the widest distribution, I
suspect) disallows certain letters because they interfere with using menu
commands (but allows others that interfere <sigh/>). I believe that most
software either has reconfigurable key commands, or allows some way to pass a
particular command past the software to the browser...


Charles McCN

On Mon, 22 Jan 2001, Kristi R Schueler/NONFS/USDAFS wrote:

  I was wondering if there are standard keyboard shortcuts to include in web
  pages? For example is there a standard shortcut to include for go back to
  the home page or going to a search page or for actions that are commonly
  found and used on web pages? I am not familiar enough with shortcuts or
  macros that may exist with the various adaptive software used by many and
  would not want to generate a keyboard shortcut that would interfere with
  the operation of a screen reader or similar TSR program being used by the

  Kristi Schueler
  USFS - WOD,  FC AQM Systems
  Web Developer (contractor)
  (970)295-5801 (voice)
  (970)295-5809 (fax)

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Monday, 22 January 2001 18:18:12 UTC

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