universal platform agnostic gestures & the ARIA Style Guide (was Re: Style guide issue -- key to open combobox)

aloha, joseph, aaron and all!

a step-back question to about 45,000 feet or so: aren't we suggesting 
gestures that accomplish discrete tasks for discrete concepts stroke 
properties stroke objects where operating system gestures cannot be 

i'd rather all my widgets work in a consistent manner than to have
to relearn a whole new key sequence when i switch from one platform
to another, let alone one application to another, as is currently 
the case in both cases...  we should be suggesting universal gestures 
which are, to the extent they CAN be, platform-agnostic...  the default 
gesture should be the same whether i'm using a mac, a windows box or a 
linux box -- it is bad enough that i have to remember that the context 
menu accelerator keys for "open in new window" and "open in new tab"
in firefox are the accelerator keys for "open in new tab" and "open in 
new window" in MSIE on a single platform (windows)

i do NOT support different gestures for different operating systems;
i think users want and need the consistency of UNIVERSAL gestures; 
if alt plus DownArrow was a universal gesture, a lot more than 1 
per cent would know about it and how and when to use it...  especially
when a mac user is forced to use a windows or linux box in a library, 
business, or academic environment -- consistency of response is what 
is necessary -- gestures should match actions, states and properties, 
and a universal set of gestures should be available to the user for
ARIA to be successful where it counts most -- end user buy-in and use

at least that is this end-user's 2 cents (american),

----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@utoronto.ca> 
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 12:53:39 -0500
Message-ID: <4964EC23.1010701@utoronto.ca> 
To: Aaron M Leventhal <aleventh@us.ibm.com> 
CC: "wai-xtech@w3.org" <wai-xtech@w3.org> 
Subj: Re: Style guide issue -- key to open combobox


You wrote:
> For http://dev.aol.com/dhtml_style_guide#combobox 
> <http://dev.aol.com/dhtml_style_guide#combobox>
> Recently I learned that OS X users expect to be able to open a combo 
> box with a space bar. This seems reasonable.  Mac users are not likely 
> to know about Alt+Down arrow. Space bar is also a little bit "less 
> geeky" than Alt+down. Can we support both the space bar as well as 
> Alt+down?

I think supporting Mac gestures is a good idea, but I think there is a 
practical issue here.  A combobox is sometimes editable, and, in this 
case, space bar is intended as a space character in the text field.  
Compare with the OS X version of FF, specifically the location bar.  If 
it has focus, space bar does not open the list, unless the text field is 

I tried other keystrokes for Mac comboboxes, and if is not open then 
down-arrow opens it.  Similarly the location bar in FF, but only if it's 
empty.  If there is text, one has to do an alt+down arrow to open it, if 
it is not open.


'This is not war -- this is pest control!'
      - "Doomsday", Dalek Leader -

Received on Friday, 9 January 2009 04:09:19 UTC