[whatwg] Accesskey in Web Forms 2

Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen hallvors at online.no
Sat Jul 24 13:55:34 PDT 2004

On 24 Jul 2004 at 19:59, Jim Ley wrote:

> I don't believe ALT+SHIFT or CTRL+SHIFT are used on windows either.

Alt+Shift is used by Windows to switch keyboard layout. If this 
option is enabled in Windows, a program can not capture these keys 
and prevent the default action.

Many browsers (inspired by Opera! :-)!! ) use ctrl-shift to indicate 
that the result of whatever you are doing should go to a new 
background window. (For Opera, that covers clicking links, form 
submissions, menu commands that cause new windows, "Go to URL" in the 
right-click menu, and should cover triggering something with an 
accesskey too).

Funny you mention Esc, since Opera uses [Shift-Esc] to toggle to 
accesskey mode. It is way too inconvenient to type, but could perhaps 
be developed into a general switch (with some UI indication) of 
whether the web page/web application in the browser or the browser's 
own UI has input focus.

I think there aren't any convincing implementations of accesskey so 
far, and I'd much rather learn keystrokes that are consistent across 
websites except for the few websites I work with on a daily basis. It 
would be quite something if a UA would let you customize your own 
accesskeys for elements in a website and remember them :-)

The suggestion of :accesskey pseudo-class for CSS3 was intriguing. 
Otherwise accesskey is somewhat stillborn. I don't think we should 
say anything about it in the spec at this point - if someone picks up 
the :accesskey idea for styling the concept may still be rescuable..
Hallvord R. M. Steen

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