[whatwg] accesskey

Michael(tm) Smith mike at w3.org
Mon Jan 28 04:22:59 PST 2008

Charles McCathieNevile <chaals at opera.com>, 2008-01-28 18:39 +1100:

>  On Mon, 28 Jan 2008 10:02:26 +1100, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt at myrealbox.com> 
>  wrote:
> [...]
> > Since most pages that contain links don't also use accesskey=, handset
> > vendors should find a way to allow easy navigation of links regardless
> > of whether the attribute is present.
>  They do.

As for example, Opera Mobile provides for each page, from a
submenu, a numbered list of all the links on the page.

>  However, accesskey, which is to primarily designed to give an 
>  increased navigation priority to certain links,

I guess that's the key point. Other than accesskey, we have
provided no other standard way for authors/content-providers to
indicate through markup that kind of navigation priority for
selected links. So lacking that, all that a UA could really do is
to find all the links on the page and present them to the user in
a list of some kind accessible from a submenu or whatever in the
browser UI. (I guess it could attempt to implement some mechanism
that used heuristics to try to intelligently determine which links
are meant to have that navigation priority, but from what I've
seen of the existing content that uses accesskey, that mechanism
is not likely to be successful very often).

>  is very useful for handsets, 
>  and not actually very complicated to implement, in a way that is consistent 
>  with the existing markup. It might not be the same across all 
>  implementations, but there is very little restriction needed to make an 
>  implementation compatible with almost any imaginable UI.

And in that light -- knowing that some browser vendors will go
ahead and implement accesskey regardless (because it's useful and
not costly to do so and because the realities of a market they
want to sell in demand it), the solution of putting into spec an
explicit "UAs must ignore the accesskey= attribute" that they are
going to necessarily have to ignore really doesn't seem like a
practical or productive solution.


Michael(tm) Smith
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