[whatwg] Are unfocusable elements focusable with tabIndex="-1".

Aaron Leventhal aaronlev at moonset.net
Tue Apr 22 08:06:44 PDT 2008

As I mentioned in the WebKit bug report just now 

The WhatWG spec appears to be wrong, in that it says:
>  A negative integer specifies that the element should be removed from the tab
>  order. If the element does normally take focus, it may still be focused using
>  other means (e.g. it could be focused by a click).
It should also say that a negative integer makes elements focusable but not
tabbable, whether they are normally focusable or not.

IE certainly does do that -- they just don't show focus visually, which 
is really a section
508 mistake on their part. The app always needs to show where the focus is.
For IE the author's workaround is to put in an onfocus handler and use 
element.style to show focus.

- Aaron

sjoerd at w3future.com wrote:
> Hi,
> An incompatibility between the implementation of tabIndex between IE and
> Firefox caught my attention because Webkit is now implementing tabIndex as
> well. [1]
> In IE, unfocusable elements with tabIndex="-1" are still not focusable. In
> Firefox they are focusable. Focusable elements stay focusable with
> tabIndex="-1" in both browsers.
> The HTML 5 spec specifies the IE behavior, if I read it correctly. I would
> prefer the IE implementation as well, simply because that would make the
> implementations compatible sooner.
> greetings,
> Sjoerd Visscher
> http://w3future.com/weblog/
> [1] https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=7138

More information about the whatwg mailing list