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Re: Find As You Type (Mozilla) and ACCESSKEY

From: David Dorward <david@us-lot.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 10:57:49 +0000
To: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030226105748.GA21709@us-lot.org>

On Wed, Feb 26, 2003 at 10:35:42 +0100, Jesper Tverskov wrote:
> "Find As You Type", as it is, is a little too complicated to use as
> a substitute for old-fashioned HTML ACCESSKEYS to links by most
> users. The feature can be used for more than links, it can also be
> used for text, and as default it is looking for more than the first
> letter of a link name.

I consider this to be much less complicated.

Lets compare:

(1) Traditional access key support

* Hold down Alt and press key. May conflict with built in shortcuts

(2) First letter as access key

* Hold down Alt and tap key repeatedly until desired link is
  highlighted. May conflict with built in shortcuts
* Always uses the last link on the page to match in Mozilla
* Cycles links with that letter in IE

(3) Find As You Type

* Tap first letter of link repeatedly until desired link is
  highlighted (no possibility of conflict with browser shortcuts)
  (This is exactly like First Letter As Access key as handled by IE
  except a modifier key is not required and it can't conflict)


* Type the link name (which is, for a reasonable typist, much faster
  if there are a lot of links on a page)

> But this could be changed in Mozilla's "preferences" by power users:
> user_pref("accessibility.typeaheadfind.startlinksonly", false); //
> If true, matches only to the start of links when searching only for
> links.

An it seems likely it will make it in to the preferences at some
> 3)
> "Find As You Type" is very close to being the user agent solution I
> propose. But as I say in my article, it can take many years before
> let us say 90 percent of user agents support such a feature.

Evidence? Microsoft has a something of a history of leaching good
ideas from competitors.

Besides, people who find such a feature really useful can usually
switch to a different browser..

> In the mean time I see no reasons why not to use "First letter as
> ACCESSKEY" as proposed in the article. Both IE and Mozilla (at least
> in Windows) supports the two different ways of pressing the ALT key
> (Cmd in Mac), that is: more than 90 percent of the user agents
> supports it.

(1) Users have to retrain to stop themselves holding down Alt when
    they try to activate menus with the keyboard.

(2) Mozilla (on my system) always activates the LAST link that matches
    the access key.

David Dorward                                   http://david.us-lot.org/
"You cannot rewrite history, not one line."
                                      - The Doctor (Dr. Who: The Aztecs)
Received on Wednesday, 26 February 2003 05:56:34 UTC

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