[whatwg] Looking at menus in HTML5...

Andrew Fedoniouk news at terrainformatica.com
Thu Aug 9 12:48:37 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: Thursday, August 09, 2007 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: [whatwg] Looking at menus in HTML5...

> Please note that it indicates the text to entered and not the keys to 
> press.
> Of course this is somewhat inconsistent with the tag name since the text
> need not come from the keyboard at all, e.g. it can be pasted.
> Your hint suggests that the user should enter text "Ctrl-C".
> Happy coding,
> Chris

Probably <kbd> does not mean key combinations exactly but this
is is closest what we can get.

Original meaning of <kbd> is so fuzzy so it was never used
for its purpose. At least I never seen <kbd> in the wild.
So it is probably safe to redefine it for keystrokes purpose.
I doubt that changing its role will break anything.

Speaking about shortcut resolution in general.
Here is one practical implementation that we have:

First of all we have extended format for @accesskey:
accesskey="A" - Alt-A (on Windows)
accesskey="!A" - just press on 'A' key - that is for mnemonics.
accesskey="^A" - Ctrl+A key.

Resolution of accesskey happens using following algorithm
(a bit simplified):

function checkForAccesskey(accesskey)
   dom::element t = window.elementInFocus();
   while ( t )
      dom::element at = findAccessKeyInThisAndDescendants(t, accesskey) ;
      if(  at  && at.activateElement() )  return true; // handled
      t = t.parent(); // go to parent
   return false;

function findAccessKeyInThisAndDescendants(element, accesskey)
    return element.select( "[accesskey='%s']",  accesskey); // a.k.a. 

As you may see such algorithm handles elements with duplicate
@accesskey attributes - it simply selects closest element to the
one that is in focus. checkForAccesskey is being called if
keyboard event was bubbled up unhandled.

This algorithm tested in real-life scenarios and applications.
I think this is best what we can get for HTML.

Andrew Fedoniouk.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org
> [mailto:whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org] On Behalf Of Andrew Fedoniouk
> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 9:46 PM
> To: Křištof Želechovski; 'Ian Hickson'
> Cc: 'WHAT WG List'
> Subject: Re: [whatwg] Looking at menus in HTML5...
> I would insist that following
> <menu type="context-menu">
>  <li>Copy<kbd>Ctrl-C</kbd></li>
> </menu>
> 1) is semantically correct construction as "KBD: Indicates text to be
> entered by the user." [1]

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