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Re: FlexBox keyboard disconnect - new property proposal

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2016 14:29:34 +0900
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>, LĂ©onie Watson <tink@tink.uk>
Message-Id: <1921C6B9-7E5F-461D-90E6-DEB7D2258C0A@rivoal.net>
To: Amelia Bellamy-Royds <amelia.bellamy.royds@gmail.com>

> On Jun 19, 2016, at 17:56, Amelia Bellamy-Royds <amelia.bellamy.royds@gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe there needs to be 2 different "visual" keywords: column-first versus row-first
> [...]
> Another complication is how to handle nesting.

I think as soon as you try to do visual 2D navigation rather than logical order navigation, there's a whole host of complications. Nesting, grid layouts, complex layouts that not only aren't linear but don't even fit in rows and columns, implied hierarchy via size or color or contrast, overlapping elements and transparency, animated things that move around or disappear...

Heuristics to get this right are hard and will fail occasionally, and that's why we have https://drafts.csswg.org/css-ui/#keyboard

> The issue of 2D keyboard navigation is something we've discussed often in the SVG Accessibility Task Force.  One thing that would be helpful is for user agents to offer alternative ways for keyboard users to move around the page, other than tab order.  Specifically, if you could press a modifier key and then use arrows to jump from one region to another based on actual layout.  That's probably a separate and additional feature to what is proposed here, but I wanted to mention it.

Right. I think that's what it boils down to: either you want a linear logical order with a meaningful next and previous, and it is DOM based, or you want full spatial navigation with up/down/left/right, and it is layout based.

Both are useful, both should be possible to use in the same browsing context, but they are different, and trying to address layout-based concerns in the logical order sounds like an intractable problem to me.

If anyone want to try spatial navigation out and haven't yet, I've blogged about how it works in a few browsers: http://florian.rivoal.net/blog/2015/04/controlling-spatial-navigation/

 - Florian
Received on Thursday, 23 June 2016 05:30:01 UTC

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