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RE: Are we really still talking about Access Keys?

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 15:36:16 +0100
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B9FD6CE8@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> John Foliot 

>  Why is 
> it then that we
> somehow feel compelled to impose our keystroke navigation 
> scheme upon the
> end user?  Who asked us?

I'd see it more along the lines of what happens with stylesheets: accesskeys
defined in a document should be "indicative", but should be "overridable" (if
that's a word) by user settings.

> Is anybody *really* making use of 
> Accesskeys (not
> developers, actual end users)
> For more than five years now we have consistently stated that while we
> acknowledge the potential usefulness of providing a means to 
> assist users
> who navigate via the keyboard, accesskeys are fundamentally flawed and
> should be avoided.

The devil's advocate in me would counter: even if actual research shows
that users do not use accesskeys, could the reason lie in the fact that
the dominant browsers have, up to now, used a flawed mechanism for triggering
these accesskeys (conflicting with menu shortcuts)? If from the start the
key combination or general method had been different (including an accessibility
option to force the browser to give visual hints about accesskeys present on the
current page), would more users use (or rather, have used) accesskeys (ideally
in the model I mention above, where the keys a site "suggests" can be overridden
globally by user settings)?

> Why-oh-why are we still talking about this?

Because we're nitpickers, the lot of us *smile*

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Thursday, 2 June 2005 14:35:35 UTC

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