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Keyboard Operation in UAAG2

From: Jan Richards <jan.richards@utoronto.ca>
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2008 18:03:19 -0400
Message-ID: <47F55427.7040906@utoronto.ca>
To: WAI-UA list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>

Following from today's call...here is an update to the "Keyboard 
Commands" idea from last week 


The functions provided to operate a user interface using only *keyboard 
commands*, without any need for pointer actions. Examples include: 
sequential keyboard navigation through a GUI, keyboard shortcuts, and 
command line interfaces.


The set of signals that a user interface will accept from a keyboard or
keyboard emulator in a given context (e.g., with focus in a document vs. 
with focus in the menus). Signals may be composed of one keyboard event 
(e.g., the "Tab" key") or multiple keyboard events that occur either 
simultaneously (e.g., "ctrl"+"S") or sequentially (e.g. "alt","F","S").

For the purposes of UAAG 2.0, several types of keyboard commands are

(a) *Sequential Commands* are those that are not tied to any particular 
UI controls or application functions, but rather support traversal of 
sets of controls (e.g., repeating "Tab" to move between all active 
controls, "arrow" keys to move focus through items in a list). 
Sequential commands help users explore what is available.

(b) *Direct Commands* (also called "keyboard shortcuts" or "accelerator 
keys") are those tied to particular UI controls or application 
functions, allowing the user to navigate-to or activate them without 
traversing any intervening controls (e.g., "ctrl"+"S" to save a 
document). It is sometimes useful to distinguish direct commands that 
are associated with controls that are rendered in the current context 
(e.g., "alt"+"D" to move focus to the address bar) from those that may 
be able to activate program functionality that is not associated with 
any currently rendered controls (e.g., "F1" to open the Help system). 
Direct commands help users accelerate their selections.

(c) *Spatial Commands* are those in which the keyboard is used to 
control the position of controls in space (e.g., using the arrow keys to 
move a mouse pointer by set numbers of pixels). ACCESSIBILITY NOTE: 
Spatial commands do not typically enhance exploration or acceleration of 
selection of selection and should not be considered an alternative to 
direct or sequential commands.


Received on Thursday, 3 April 2008 22:02:36 UTC

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