Re: [STYLE GUIDE] keyboard resizing of split containers

Hi Becky.

Of the three you describe, I lean towards number 1 (no context menu). I 
feel context menus are a little too indirect for this kind of operation.

I would prefer to see the resize grip placed in the tab order though; I 
feel that the grip really is like a widget, and widgets should be in the 
tab order.  We can then allow arrowing to move it around.  Ideally the 
accessible object representing the grip should contain information about 
the panes it splits... but that is a tangent.

Here is a semi-working example:

Note I realize there is a subtle difference between thinking about 
moving a grip vs thinking about resizing a pane, but the grip is here to 
stay I think, and it is part of our model.


Becky Gibson wrote:
> My definition of a split container is a section of the Web page which is 
> split into two or more sections either horizontally or vertically.  Split 
> containers can be nested to create both vertical and horizontal sections. 
> A common implementation is for mail programs which usually provide a tree 
> of folders on the left hand side of the page and on the right hand side of 
> the page split into two sections stacked one above the other - one with a 
> listing of the documents in the folder and another to preview the contents 
> of the selected document.  Most applications provide a grab point on the 
> border of the pane to resize the section using the mouse. 
> Is a keyboard mechanism to resize a split container required to meet 
> accessibility guidelines?  I am assuming yes since unless there are scroll 
> bars some content might not be visible without resizing. 
> I have some ideas for resizing with the keyboard.
> 1) Assign some key that when pressed when focus is within the section, 
> will move focus to the grab point.  The user then modifies the size of the 
> container using the mouse keys. This isn't particularly useful for screen 
> reader users but I am hoping that they don't have to deal with the sizing 
> problems because the screen reader will read all of the content even if it 
> is clipped? 
> 2) Assign some key that when pressed when focus is within the section, 
> will open a context menu with options for making smaller/larger by 10%, 
> 25%, 50%.
> 3) Shift-F10 from within the section will invoke a context menu with 
> options for making the section smaller/larger by 10%, 25%, 50%,  If an 
> application context menu for this section of the Web application already 
> exists, the resize items would be appended to it.   This has the drawback 
> that it is harder to implement, and will override the browsers context 
> menu if there is no Web application defined context menu.  This could 
> create a scenario where the user can not invoke the browsers context menu 
> because the entire page is made up of re-sizable sections.  Of course that 
> could also happen with any application defined context menu as well - but 
> overriding the browser context menu just for resizing sections seems a bit 
> harsh. 
> I prefer option 1, although it has the disadvantage of a "special" key 
> sequence that people will have to learn through discovery or good 
> documentation.  But I also need screen reader user feedback to make sure 
> this is sufficient. 
> thoughts?
> Becky Gibson
> Web Accessibility Architect
> IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
> 5 Technology Park Drive
> Westford, MA 01886
> Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
> Email:
> blog: WebA11y

Received on Friday, 14 September 2007 14:11:17 UTC