[whatwg] Looking at menus in HTML5...

Andrew Fedoniouk news at terrainformatica.com
Wed Aug 8 13:08:15 PDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Křištof Želechovski" <giecrilj at stegny.2a.pl>
To: "'Andrew Fedoniouk'" <news at terrainformatica.com>; "'Ian Hickson'" 
<ian at hixie.ch>
Cc: "'WHAT WG List'" <whatwg at whatwg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 9:37 AM
Subject: RE: [whatwg] Looking at menus in HTML5...

> Mnemonics in menu items are indispensable for actions you have to repeat
> many times.  For example, Visa periodically opens a promotion where you 
> can
> enter your credit card payments one by one.  If you do it once a month, 
> you
> usually have quite a few of them to enter.  Using a mouse for the purpose 
> is
> much slower, drearier and more strenuous.  And it may happen as well that
> your employee has to fill such forms on a regular basis.
> I imagine keyboard mnemonics are especially important for people with
> disabilities.  Their advantage over keyboard shortcuts is that you can 
> read
> them incrementally (you can inform the user about a composite shortcut 
> when
> he activates the menu item but the menu item usually disappears before she
> is able to read the hint).  An extreme case of broken UI is displaying the
> shortcut in the status line down there when the focus is on the menu up
> there.
> Best regards
> Chris

"Mnemonics in menu items are indispensable for actions you have to repeat
many times." - exactly!

But as I said the problem is that web applications are occasionally used 
Means that they should have an "Inductive UI"  [1,2] - self explanatory, 
discoverable. Mnemonics makes sense significantly more in Productive UIs -
applications like your favorite editor that you use each day. So you can
remember those keyboard sequences and use them effectively.

"I imagine keyboard mnemonics are especially important for people with
disabilities."  - I wouldn't say so. Ian propose to generate mnemonics
automatically as far as I understand. So to be able to use mnemonics someone
should read it first and find that mnemonic letter. By default and without
proper (ususally custom) styling this is extremely hard to do
for people of some groups.

And yet: how you would generate mnemonic for, say, "SELECT ALL"
(ru: "ВЫБРАТЬ ВСЁ", pl: "WYBRAĆ CAŁY" or so)

Andrew Fedoniouk.

[1] http://wesnerm.blogs.com/net_undocumented/2003/09/inductive_uis_v.html

> -----Original Message-----
> From: whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org
> [mailto:whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org] On Behalf Of Andrew Fedoniouk
> Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:01 PM
> To: Ian Hickson
> Cc: WHAT WG List
> Subject: Re: [whatwg] Looking at menus in HTML5...
> Mnemonics in menu items is a very old concept. I doubt that people
> are using them for selecting menu items.  They used to be actual for
> UI scripting/automation when sending of keystrokes was the only
> way to activate some function/command from the code.
> Do you know anybody who is using mnemonics for menu item activations
> these days? Especially in web apps that are primarily occasionally used
> and highly dynamic things - you literally cannot remember all keystroke
> sequences for particular functions in all sites you are visiting. In
> contrast
> rich menus with inline descriptions and proper organization will help
> you significantly more to get what you need in application that you use
> say at the end of the month to do your online banking or so.
> Andrew Fedoniouk.
> http://terrainformatica.com

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