[whatwg] Accesskey in Web Forms 2

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Aug 26 10:39:35 PDT 2004

On Sun, 22 Aug 2004, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> On 22 Aug, 2004, at 11:31 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> ...
>> I think UAs should automatically highlight the accesskey (or add it in
>> brackets if it isn't already in the string). I am thinking of writing some
>> text -- optional, of course, since this wouldn't apply to all UAs or all
>> platforms -- that specifies this.
> That sounds reasonable. It would help discourage authors from highlighting
> accesskeys in inconsistent ways, and from highlighting accesskeys even when
> serving to UAs that ignore the attribute.


> (Though as I said before, I'd prefer that the spec discourage UAs from 
> paying attention to the attribute at all, and authors from using it, in 
> lieu of actually removing it.)

What do you do for users who can't use pointing devices?

> > I also think that there should be an accesskey value which is basically
> > "auto", and which picks a non-clashing access key based on the element
> > content.
> > ...
> I don't think that would be a good idea. It could easily result in the same
> element unexpectedly having different access keys on different pages. It could
> even result in the same element having different access keys at different
> times on the *same* page, if other elements that needed the original access
> key more urgently (i.e. specified it explicitly, or had no other unused
> characters in their labels) were added to the page using the DOM or WF2's
> repetition model.

Fair point.

The problem is that, well, people want keyboard access shortcuts. This was 
mentioned in another thread; Pine, for instance, has very fast key-based 
UI, and it would suck if there was no way to do something as quick in 
HTML. Access keys are also useful in "accessibility scenarios", but if 
they clash with UA keys they're not useful.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

More information about the whatwg mailing list