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SV: Find As You Type (Mozilla) and ACCESSKEY

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:01:25 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <PMEDKJMNFKKCPMNLCCFIAEHGCCAA.jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>


There is no need to compare Mozilla's implementation of "Find As You Type"
with the old ways of using ALT (Cmd in Mac, etc.) for access key letters.

The Mozilla implementation is far superior, second to none. But not as it is
implemented as default at the moment. It took me several hours to try to
figure out how it worked, and after a lot of frustrations I had to read the
documentation before I saw the light. And I have already forgotten most of
the documentation!

If "Find As You Type" should be easy to use, it should by default only work
for the first letter in link text, and then move on to the next first letter
of the next link text beginning with that letter. If this is implemented as
default, "Find As You Type" is probably the very best solution imaginable
and even the best of all worlds!

Power users will be able to switch on all the advanced features of "Find as
You Type".


When we think of Microsoft's great record when it comes to Accessibility (at
least they have made progress over the years), you are probably right, that
we could convince Microsoft to implement a similar feature in Internet

We should also try to get such a feature into W3C's User Agent Accessibility


"Find As You Type" has the potential of becoming a very great alternative to
the HTML ACCESSKEY and even to make it obsolete, and to solve all the
traditional problems of access keys to links in web pages.

But it depends on the willingness of other user agents to implement the same
ideas. Why not put pressure on them by implementing first letter as HTML
access keys already today on all our web pages, as proposed in my article

Best regards,
Jesper Tverskov

-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
Fra: David Dorward [mailto:david@us-lot.org]
Sendt: 26. februar 2003 11:58
Til: Jesper Tverskov
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Emne: Re: Find As You Type (Mozilla) and ACCESSKEY

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 07:55:27 UTC

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