[whatwg] Accesskey in Web Forms 2

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 17 10:45:38 PST 2004

James Graham wrote:
> Surely accesskey is better; since the author knows what the key 
> combination is in advance they can specify it in the game screen. With 
> access one either has the browser randomly assigning key shortcuts, 
> hence making the keys hard to discover or the user defining their own 
> shortcuts, with no defaults, which is complex and so unlikely to be 
> undertaken by many users.

    Well, on top of that, user agent vendors already have the tools to 
implement the assignment of keys to controls. A browser knows what a 
control is, otherwise it wouldn't render them. Controls commonly have 
|id| attributes, |name| attributes and associated <label> elements which 
could be used for intelligent shortcut assignment.

    Personally, I'm beginning to see the utility in using <link> to 
assign shortcuts, as suggested by Derek Featherstone:


    However, I see two problems with this.

    First of all, if there is no conflict with the browser shortcuts or 
existing user-defined shortcuts, then the |accesskey| value should be 
used for the shortcut, even if another shortcut has been assigned to a 
particular |rel| value by the user.

    Secondly, not all <link> elements, or controls associated with them, 
should have shortcuts. For instance, the web page may have several 
<link> elements that establish relationships using the key work 
"Similar", which would refer to similar articles. Would you necessarily 
want to associate a shortcut with such content?

    Furthermore, you'd have to bind these shortcuts to the link type 
rather than a |title| attribute in order to ensure the shortcut works on 
multiple sites. (For that matter, a typo for a |title| on a page within 
a site may cause the shortcut not to work on that specific page.)

    Any thoughts on this?

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