[whatwg] Accesskey in Web Forms 2

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Nov 9 06:27:57 PST 2004

Laurens Holst wrote:

> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> Yeah, that makes sense. So we're saying access keys should be 
>> completed deprecated in HTML?
> My vote would be in favour of that. Accesskeys are never useful and only
> annoying. On some sites pressing ALT+S for my RSS reader (Sage) will
> focus my cursor on the search field. Yet on other sites where I would
> like easy access to the search field, no access key is set.
I disagree and I doubt whether browser makers would sacrifice HTML 4 
features that may be important in some applications (e.g. intranet 
sites) even where long-standing usability issues exist. Instead, we 
should merely change the text about accesskeys to note that:

1) UAs _should_ provide a mechanism for invoking document accesskeys 
that does not conflict with OS/application keybindings (this typically 
precludes alt + key or ctrl + key).
2) UAs _should_ allow accesskeys to be assigned to elements where no 
author-defined accesskey exists and _should_ allow author-set 
keybindings to be overridden
3) UAs _should_ provide a list of accesskeys defined on the current page 
(2 above will necessarily require this)

Additionally we could standardise accesskeys for authors (all with 
_should_ or even  _may_ ) e.g. acceskey s _should_ be used to focus a 
search field. Accesskey 0 _should_ return the user to the site homepage etc.

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