[whatwg] make <video> always focusable and interactive content

Simon Pieters simonp at opera.com
Tue Jun 19 21:51:56 PDT 2012

On Wed, 20 Jun 2012 05:43:20 +0200, Silvia Pfeiffer  
<silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I recently experimented with keyboard accessibility of media elements.
> I found that browsers don't provide a default tabfocus on media
> elements nor do they provide keyboard interactivity. I had to put
> explicit @tabindex attributes onto the media elements to allow them to
> at least receive focus. This is particularly irritating in a
> screenreader.
> As the video is specified right now, it is not a tabfocusable element
> [1] and only interactive [2] when it has controls. This is sufficient
> for audio elements, which have no visual representation without
> controls, but isn't right for video, which always renders at least a
> poster (or a black area). Also, if there are controls specified, they
> should actually be tabfocusable.

They are in Opera. The spec allows it.

> Even video without controls should allow keyboard focus and should
> provide for default keyboard interaction: at minimum it should allow
> for ENTER and/or SPACE to toggle play/pause - and clicking on it
> should work, too.

Why? Video without controls is expected to have author-provided controls.  
Trying to squeeze in hard-to-discover invisible browser-provided controls  
in that case would likely just confuse users and make authors curse  
browsers and try to preventDefault() and tabindex=-1 their video elements  
(or switch back to Flash) so that their own controls is what their users  
interact with.

> Potentially it should have up/down arrows to change
> the volume and left/right arrows to seek back/forward by e.g. 10sec.
> As it's currently specified, browser cannot provide such interaction
> when there are no controls, since the element is not generally
> specified as an interactive element [2].

It can, actually. "interactive content" is just a category for the purpose  
of the content model, it doesn't have implications like the above. (For  
instance, if you have a <video> without controls attribute, and the user  
enables the controls from the context menu, the element still isn't  
"interactive content" but it shows controls.)

> [1]  
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/editing.html#focusable
> [2]  
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/elements.html#interactive-content-0
> There is also a bug in the W3C wiki for this:
> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=17463
> Cheers,
> Silvia.

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

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