@key (was RE: Accesskeys, was: RE: User friendly 404s reconsidered)

Alastair Campbell wrote:

> Does anyone know why access keys were recommended in the mobile
> guidelines? 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/CR-mobile-bp-20060627/#iddiv368943848
> I have no idea how to use them on my phone!


Alastair, this one slipped by me, but thanks for pointing it out.  

The argument for the perpetuation of @key within the proposed XHTML 2 was
for this reason.  Keyboard shortcuts on mobile devices is a great idea - so
long as they are mapped to numeric keys.  The accelerator key (our infamous
ALT+) on mobile devices is (to my knowledge) defined by each device.

The greater problem of course is when well-meaning, but uninformed designers
map to keys that are non-numeric.  It is just one more instance of
non-standardization that for whatever reason the W3C seems to want to
maintain.  I have argued long, hard, and to apparently little avail to
remove the @key attribute from the XHTML draft so that those same
well-meaning designers can declare the "importance" or intent via @role, but
since they cannot specify a key it then pushes that responsibility to the
user-agent (mobile or otherwise), where I argue it belongs.

Instead we now have competing Recommendations suggesting to content authors
to do different things depending on the user agents.  Why the folly of this
W3C led guidance escapes everyone is beyond poor little me, but am I really
that wrong?

  1) I still maintain that ACCESSKEY is wrong, broken, and don't use it
(with a caveat that if you feel you must, look at solutions such as that
developed by Gez Lemon -
http://juicystudio.com/article/user-defined-accesskeys.php) - as one, there
are other types of solutions out there).

  2) I still maintain that keeping @key in the XHTML 2 draft is wrong,
pig-headed (yes, I said that) and should be removed.  As for the argument
that it cannot be moved to scripting... Well, see point 1 above.

JF (slightly over-caffeinated)
John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist
WATS.ca - Web Accessibility Testing and Services

Received on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 16:23:12 UTC