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Accesskey in XHTML 2

From: Arve Bersvendsen <arve@virtuelvis.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 08:30:07 +0200
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <oprqx9ohjg2ftht5@mail.online.no>

What plans (if any) are there for reworking the accesskey mechanism in 

At present, many authors use accesskeys to provide access to links that 
normally should have been handled by a browsers default mechanism for 
accessing various linktypes defined in <link rel="..." /> relationships.

Current accesskey implementations don't seem to be very well thought out: 
In for instance Mozilla and MSIE on Win, the accesskeys are invoked by 
pressing Alt+[accesskey], which is the same normally mechanism used for 
accessing the main menus of said programs.  If authors is to use accesskeys 
without actually risk interfering with normal operation of the programs, 
they cannot use any of the access keys that is normally bound to menus.  
Add a few different localized versions of the browsers and the available 
access keys shrink even more.

I ran a few tests with which access keys one actually can use, and the only 
ones I found that will work reliably across English versions of Opera, MSIE 
and Mozilla are i, m, n, o and w.

Which brings up the question: perhaps the accesskey mechanism in XHTML 2 
should be replaced with an accessibility mechanism where the accesskey is 
bound to a function, rather than mapped to a specific key?

Something along the lines of <input type="text" access="username" />.

I know this would take away some freedom from authors in creating accesskey 
schemes, since there would have to be a definitive list of accesskeytypes, 
but this limitation would also enable users to learn the application once 
instead of learning and relearning accesskey schemes for each and every 
site he/she visits.

Arve Bersvendsen                  http://www.virtuelvis.com
Received on Wednesday, 18 June 2003 02:34:59 UTC

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