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Re: Are we really still talking about Access Keys?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 12:59:43 +0200
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.srsjhtj7wxe0ny@widsith.local>

On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 12:20:01 +0200, John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>  

> This more than anything is the real point of my rants.
> Perpetuating the author's ability to bind a specific key to "access" or
> "accesskey" is the real issue, as it descends into exactly the scenario  
> you have just described, which I cannot see as being an "accessible"  
> solution or recommendation.

I agree that the author should not be setting "the" key to be used. But  
since the author knows something about the random important thing (it  
shouldn't be a common enough function that there is a rel attribute value  
already defined, otherwise accesskey is the wrong tool for the job that is  
better done by the rel attribute). So they are the person most likely  
(IMHO) to have an idea of what might seem a useful mnemonic.

The problem is that this key may not be available. Many common letters  
such as the range [a-zA-Z] are not so easy to get on an arabic keyboard,  
for example, and I will bet that fewer than 1 in 10 readers of this list  
know how to generate a hungarian double-accented-o in a way that makes it  
a feasible shortcut. It is also true that a and A are, according to the  
current spec, two different accesskeys.

So a part of any sensible answer (and this has been discussed for years -  
I am particularly upset that SMIL 2.1 still doesn't have it in its new  
candidate recommendation draft) is that the author proposes, but the user  
disposes. Via their user agent in the first instance - the user agent may  
well re-map the keys to things that are commonly available in the current  
setup which it knows much better than the author. The onus is then on the  
User Agent to explain which keys are assigned to what, not the author. In  
addition, the user agent should (must if it is going to do a good job)  
provide a mechanism for reconfiguring the keys, or otherwise giving access  
to just those things marked with an accesskey attribute.

The good thing about this approach would be that while it requires changes  
to the spec as written, and fixing user agent implementations, it doesn't  
interfere with existing good user agent implementations and it doesn't  
require changes to the content of any existing conformant document.

Which is the friendly way to make the world better. We are currently  
looking at userJS and CSS to prototype some ideas for how to make Opera's  
accesskey impementation more useful - feel free to tell us about it.



Charles McCathieNevile                              chaals@opera.com
          hablo español - je parle français - jeg lærer norsk
   Here's one we prepared earlier:   http://www.opera.com/download
Received on Friday, 3 June 2005 10:59:57 UTC

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