[whatwg] Accesskey in Web Forms 2

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Mon Aug 23 08:54:20 PDT 2004

On Aug 23, 2004, at 00:47, Matthew Raymond wrote:

>> With the factory settings of Windows 2000 and later, rendering 
>> accesskeys "in a way that is consistent with the native operating 
>> system or platform UI conventions" means hiding them until Alt is 
>> pressed, and in Mac OS X it usually means not rendering them at all. 
>> (Most OS X applications have access keys in their Open and Save 
>> dialogs, and some have access keys in other dialogs too. But most 
>> software -- including the OS itself -- never displays them, and those 
>> applications that do only do so when the Command key is held down.)
>    Personally, I think this is a mistake on the part of operating 
> system vendors.

I agree that the situation on Mac OS X is a mistake. I think the access 
keys should be displayed when "Full Keyboard Access" is on. In general, 
the keyboardability of the Mac OS X GUI is lousy compared to Windows. 
(For example, I still don't know how to invoke the context menu from 
the keyboard on Mac OS X.)

The Microsoft way does make sense, though. It spares the people who 
don't use the access keys of the visual clutter.

> What's the point of access keys if no one knows what they are?

On Windows, if you need them, you turn the visual indication on.

(But as far as HTML goes, I'm inclined to think author-specified access 
keys are a misfeature.)

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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