Access Keys

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Paul Furman, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    This doesn't work in either IE or Mozilla for me. Shift control, alt &
    the plain key do nothing.

    http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/interact/forms.html#h-17.11.2
    "In this example, we assign an access key to a link defined by the A
    element. Typing this access key takes the user to another document, in
    this case, a table of contents.

    <P><A accesskey="C"
    rel="contents"
    href="http://someplace.com/specification/contents.html">
    Table of Contents</A>

    .....on machines running MS Windows, one generally has to press the "alt"
    key in addition to the access key. On Apple systems, one generally has
    to press the "cmd" key in addition to the access key."


    ctl-n opens another new window.
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 21, 2004
    #1
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  2. Paul Furman <> wrote:

    > This doesn't work in either IE or Mozilla for me. Shift control,
    > alt & the plain key do nothing.

    - -
    > <P><A accesskey="C"


    It works both on IE and on Mozilla for me, though in different ways.
    And it "works" in a relative sense only. My browser has no default
    action for Alt-c, but if it had, that accesskey attribute would mask it
    out. If my mouse were still broken, I wouldn't like that at all. (I
    could use Alt _followed by_ c though, but few people know this.)

    > ctl-n opens another new window.


    Well, yes, quite often. But why did you try ctl-n and not Alt-c?

    Keyboards are different, though. This might explain something if you
    actually tried Alt-c. And if the keyboard has two Alt keys, it might be
    relevant which one you use.

    But accessibility specialists seem to be more and more inclined into
    thinking that accesskey attributes are rather useless, or worse. They
    might have use in special _applications_, but hardly on the Web. See
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/accesskey.html
    (which I mostly wrote when I was more optimistic, but it lists a few
    essential problems).

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Feb 21, 2004
    #2
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  3. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > Paul Furman <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>This doesn't work in either IE or Mozilla for me. Shift control,
    >>alt & the plain key do nothing.

    >
    > - -
    >
    >><P><A accesskey="C"

    >
    >
    > It works both on IE and on Mozilla for me, though in different ways.



    OK I see it works in mozilla with ALT, not in IE6 though.


    > And it "works" in a relative sense only. My browser has no default
    > action for Alt-c, but if it had, that accesskey attribute would mask it
    > out. If my mouse were still broken, I wouldn't like that at all. (I
    > could use Alt _followed by_ c though, but few people know this.)



    I could only turn it on as an option if people want it.


    ....
    > Keyboards are different, though. This might explain something if you
    > actually tried Alt-c. And if the keyboard has two Alt keys, it might be
    > relevant which one you use.



    Nope. Both alt keys are impotent.


    >
    > But accessibility specialists seem to be more and more inclined into
    > thinking that accesskey attributes are rather useless, or worse. They
    > might have use in special _applications_, but hardly on the Web. See
    > http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/accesskey.html
    > (which I mostly wrote when I was more optimistic, but it lists a few
    > essential problems).



    Yes this is totally standard and essential for applications with the
    underlining of one letter in the destination as a cue. I can see how it
    would conflict with the browser's standard access keys but it shouldn't
    go beyond the browser. Using numbers should circumvent this or > & < or
    something it really ought to be possible. I just notices that IE6
    doesn't show any underlined access keys until I press the alt key. Odd
    behavior. If it doesn't work in IE it's pretty much useless though <g>.
    Too bad.
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 21, 2004
    #3
  4. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >
    >><P><A accesskey="C"

    >
    >
    > It works both on IE and on Mozilla for me, though in different ways.



    OK I get it now. On your page in IE, it highlights the link as "special"
    (Looks like your "hover" formatting) then I have to hit enter. In my
    sample it didn't highlight in any way. In Mozilla it jumped directly to
    the link destination.

    Rather akward to do a key combo plus enter but I guess it works. The
    tabindex thing I was playing with two tabs and an enter is actually
    easier I think. The access key is awesome in Mozilla though. It is
    rather scary though if you aren't expecting it!
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 21, 2004
    #4
  5. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Re: Access Keys, Tab, Tabindex, Javascript Tab

    I made a few demo pages illustrating various shortcut techniques:
    http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab
    In the order that I find most to least useful:

    http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab/tabindex
    tab-enter to forced tabindex to proceed to next page
    (two tabs for IE)

    http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab/javascript-tab
    pretty cool, just hit enter to flip through pages
    (need to get IE in gear by tabbing to the first link)

    http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab/accesskey
    CTL-C advances to next page
    (need to hit enter also for IE)

    http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab/javascript-tabindex-mess
    broken attempt where javascript can't find forced tabindex
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 21, 2004
    #5
  6. Paul Furman

    kchayka Guest

    Paul Furman wrote:

    > Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >>
    >>><P><A accesskey="C"

    >>
    >> It works both on IE and on Mozilla for me, though in different ways.

    >
    > In Mozilla it jumped directly to the link destination.


    Actually, automatically activating the link became an option in mozilla
    some time ago. In the moz location bar, type about:config then search
    for "access". You should be able to find the exact pref easily enough.

    > The access key is awesome in Mozilla though.


    Like many things, this is subjective. "Awesome" is not quite the word I
    would use.

    > It is rather scary though if you aren't expecting it!


    Indeed. I am primarily a keyboard user and web page access keys are
    mostly a PITA to me. I was glad when mozilla made activation optional,
    I turned it off as soon as I found out. You know, it is really annoying
    to find out that access keys are defined at all when you unexpectedly
    get sent to parts unknown within a site.

    --
    Reply address is a bottomless spam bucket.
    Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
     
    kchayka, Feb 21, 2004
    #6
  7. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    kchayka wrote:
    > Paul Furman wrote:
    >
    >>The access key is awesome in Mozilla though.

    >
    >
    > Like many things, this is subjective. "Awesome" is not quite the word I
    > would use.
    >
    >
    >>It is rather scary though if you aren't expecting it!

    >
    >
    > Indeed. I am primarily a keyboard user and web page access keys are
    > mostly a PITA to me. I was glad when mozilla made activation optional,
    > I turned it off as soon as I found out. You know, it is really annoying
    > to find out that access keys are defined at all when you unexpectedly
    > get sent to parts unknown within a site.



    I can activate these things only if selected. As someone who uses the
    keyboard navigation wouldn't a large image gallery be pretty much
    intolerable? I understand the concern for upsetting standards but
    really, I'm trying to make the thing usable and convenient. Sometime
    it's just too much to get so hung up on restrictions and no features
    allowed. Why be crippled when life could be so much easier?

    Isn't that wonderful to be able to just hit
    enter
    enter
    enter
    to whiz through multiple pages?

    Am I the only one who finds all that navigation, tabbing and mousing
    exhausting?

    The beauty of keyboard navigation is to be able to move quickly, but
    given the restrictions you folks are asking for, it's not easy, it's
    really tedious.

    Try this (in Mozilla just hit enter repeatedly):
    http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab/javascript-tab

    Isn't that wonderful? Doesn't it make life so much easier? Assume you've
    chosen this feature and were not suprised by it, assume you want to be
    able to navigate 50 pages without wearing out your wrist. Come on now,
    surely you can't deny that's damn convenient in terms of empowering
    keyboard navigation.
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 21, 2004
    #7
  8. Paul Furman

    kchayka Guest

    Paul Furman wrote:
    >
    > As someone who uses the
    > keyboard navigation wouldn't a large image gallery be pretty much
    > intolerable?
    >
    > Am I the only one who finds all that navigation, tabbing and mousing
    > exhausting?


    Combine mozilla's look-ahead and tabbing with (occassional)
    caret-browsing and I can usually get almost anywhere on a page fairly
    quickly. I am not totally mouse-free, either. It's just pretty
    inconvenient to use a mouse most of the time.

    > Try this (in Mozilla just hit enter repeatedly):
    > http://www.edgehill.net/html/tab/javascript-tab
    >
    > Isn't that wonderful? Doesn't it make life so much easier?


    I don't have JavaScript enabled, so no, it isn't any easier.

    > Assume you've
    > chosen this feature and were not suprised by it,


    Then yes, it could be dandy.

    > assume you want to be
    > able to navigate 50 pages without wearing out your wrist.


    My wrist isn't an issue, it has a nice soft gel pad to rest on. ;) Do
    you assume everyone would want to go to all 50 pages in sequence? Maybe
    some (most?) users would, but I rarely do something like that. My
    attention span isn't that long. :)

    > Come on now,
    > surely you can't deny that's damn convenient in terms of empowering
    > keyboard navigation.


    It's really dependent on the browser and the habits of the particular
    user. No two browsers use the same methods of facilitating keyboard
    navigation, and screen readers are all different, too. BTW, no screen
    readers that I know of support HTML accesskeys, and visually impaired
    users are definitely in the keyboard navigation group.

    Because there is no standard implementation for keyboard navigation,
    whatever method you pick will only serve a portion of all your keyboard
    users, who knows whether or not that would even be a majority. If the
    site is mostly for yourself, feel free to do whatever works best for
    you. Just don't be surprised if some users find it annoying or
    dysfunctional.

    --
    Reply address is a bottomless spam bucket.
    Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
     
    kchayka, Feb 21, 2004
    #8
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