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  1. #26
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webnauts
    1. Do all browsers implement the XHTML standard, including accesskey, rather than picking and choosing which subcomponents to support?
    accesskey is already defined for html 4. see http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/index/attributes.html

    2. Is the standard clarified to make accesskey either a true accesskey (likely limited to US-ASCII letters, numerals, and some punctuation, irrespective of the damage this does to users of other keyboards) or an accesscharacter (which would require more than one keystroke)?
    accesskeys are usually implemented as "modifier key + access key", e.g. in IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Firebird it's "ALT + accesskey". other operating systems and browsers use different modifier keys. users with disabilities who take advantage of accesskeys, however, should be aware of the way to access them on their specific setup (some of the onus IS on the user, not just the developers...otherwise we'll end up always stating the obvious in a patronising way, imho)

    3. Can users use some capacity other than telepathy to figure out which accesskeys have been defined, and such visual display can be controlled and styled?
    as far as i'm aware, no mainstream browser "announces" accesskeys by default. some screenreaders add this feature, reading out a link's access key if present. there are CSS methods that can be used (particularly the CSS2 :before and :after pseudo-class combined with a content property), but for the majority we have to rely on workarounds in the same way that longdesc is not yet supported by default and we, as developers, need to add the [D] link manually.

    The UK Goverment have developed accesskey standards, which maybe the Germans really take after, but that does not suppose to mean that all countries use these standards. Or?
    Also enough of page authors use their own accesskeys, for diverse reasons.
    different countries have different legislation when it comes to accessibility...so yes, there will also be differences there...

    4. Have all conflicts with browser and operating systems, not just Windows, been worked out?
    there are a few recent threads on the W3C WAI IG mailing list. have a look at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/...un/thread.html and look for threads with "accesskey" in their title. (particularly http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/...rJun/0117.html )
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  2. #27
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    accesskey is already defined for html 4. see http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/index/attributes.html


    accesskeys are usually implemented as "modifier key + access key", e.g. in IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Firebird it's "ALT + accesskey". other operating systems and browsers use different modifier keys. users with disabilities who take advantage of accesskeys, however, should be aware of the way to access them on their specific setup (some of the onus IS on the user, not just the developers...otherwise we'll end up always stating the obvious in a patronising way, imho)



    as far as i'm aware, no mainstream browser "announces" accesskeys by default. some screenreaders add this feature, reading out a link's access key if present. there are CSS methods that can be used (particularly the CSS2 :before and :after pseudo-class combined with a content property), but for the majority we have to rely on workarounds in the same way that longdesc is not yet supported by default and we, as developers, need to add the [D] link manually.



    different countries have different legislation when it comes to accessibility...so yes, there will also be differences there...



    there are a few recent threads on the W3C WAI IG mailing list. have a look at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/...un/thread.html and look for threads with "accesskey" in their title. (particularly http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/...rJun/0117.html )
    Hey redux, do you think the above techniques provide a backward compatibility? What if users turn off CSS in their browsers (if supported)? Which will be the default state?

  3. #28
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webnauts
    Thanks DHTMLhelp for your comments:

    Though I have some questions:

    1. Do all browsers implement the XHTML standard, including accesskey, rather than picking and choosing which subcomponents to support?

    2. Is the standard clarified to make accesskey either a true accesskey (likely limited to US-ASCII letters, numerals, and some punctuation, irrespective of the damage this does to users of other keyboards) or an accesscharacter (which would require more than one keystroke)?

    3. Can users use some capacity other than telepathy to figure out which accesskeys have been defined, and such visual display can be controlled and styled? The UK Goverment have developed accesskey standards, which maybe the Germans really take after, but that does not suppose to mean that all countries use these standards. Or?
    Also enough of page authors use their own accesskeys, for diverse reasons.

    4. Have all conflicts with browser and operating systems, not just Windows, been worked out?
    Not using images, and therefore alt tags is an option. But what about the "title" tag? Is that backward compatible? Also when a user has iCab, the accesskeys are underlined by default. If links are underlined, users cannot recognize the accesskeys. To use CSS text-decoration none?
    What if users browser does not support CSS, or turned off?

    By the way, I just wanted to mention, that I am working on accessibility guidelines for my future web site, and the discussion here is very valuable!!!

  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    ALA seems to be very timely on this matter as well, as they just posted an article on accesskeys .
    http://www.alistapart.com/stories/accesskeys/
    I wonder about some of the things it suggests though:
    • It suggests that you show the keyboard navigation only when you hover over the link with your mouse, which frankly seems daft to me, OR when you focus on a link, which seems equally counter-intuitive to a layperson like myself. Also, only the most recent browsers support generated content with CSS, and, on Windows at least (can't say about Mac persuasions), I think only Mozilla understands ':focus'.
    • The other method it offers up is using <em> to designate the access key, but would this screw up the pronunciation of the link text in speech browsers?
    So I donno? Is the best way just to write it out like Webnauts suggested?

    Re browser support: Opera 7 (maybe 6?) I think is pretty good in this respect, but it does deviate from the standard other browsers use: press SHIFT + ESC and then press the access key. Its implementation doesn't conflict with menu commands and is pretty easy to use with one hand without covering up the keyboard as you would with your thumb on the ALT key. However, I'd think that combination would be pretty damn difficult to type with your knuckles or a head stick (there's probably some option to change the modifier in some .ini file, though)--not that you're any better off pressing a modifier + access key, in the other browsers. Another plus is that Opera readily announces access keys with its built-in "Accessibility Layout" style. :-)

    ~~Ian

  5. #30
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Glass
    It suggests that you show the keyboard navigation only when you hover over the link with your mouse, which frankly seems daft to me,
    good, i'm not the only one then...
    similar article that made me scratch my balding head: http://devedge.netscape.com/viewsour...eal-accesskey/

    So I donno? Is the best way just to write it out like Webnauts suggested?
    for the time being, yes - just like the [D] link for longdesc...or, you have a single link somewhere on your page (with accesskey 0) which contains the accessibility statement for your site. there you define the list of accesskeys in use on all your pages.

    Re browser support: Opera 7 (maybe 6?) I think is pretty good in this respect, but it does deviate from the standard other browsers use: press SHIFT + ESC and then press the access key. Its implementation doesn't conflict with menu commands and is pretty easy to use with one hand without covering up the keyboard as you would with your thumb on the ALT key.


    However, I'd think that combination would be pretty damn difficult to type with your knuckles or a head stick
    don't forget that in many cases these users have macro-like combinations set up...so "pressing" a key can result in a whole series of actions being performed...so they could have SHIFT + ESC set up with a single key

    Another plus is that Opera readily announces access keys with its built-in "Accessibility Layout" style.
    need to test at work with JAWS if :before and :after generated content is actually read out by the screenreader. possibly not though, as, for instance, you can't actually select generated content when using a mouse...so it's not part of the normal document, which in most instances screenreaders rely upon (although JAWS does use "screenscraper" functionality too, so it might pick this up after all)
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
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  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Aaarrrrgh!

    I am currently writing the technical specification for our new site. The actual build is to go to tender, and I was hoping to pin down the tech side of things as much as possible.

    I've just got to the "access keys" bit and was going to include the gov't recommendations (part of our site is a government contract) and my bookmark gave a 404. Came to this thread - same link - page moved

    Try as I might I can't find the sodding document - anyone got a list of the keys?
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  7. #32
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    Aaarrrrgh!

    I am currently writing the technical specification for our new site. The actual build is to go to tender, and I was hoping to pin down the tech side of things as much as possible.

    I've just got to the "access keys" bit and was going to include the gov't recommendations (part of our site is a government contract) and my bookmark gave a 404. Came to this thread - same link - page moved [img]images/smilies/frown.gif[/img]

    Try as I might I can't find the sodding document - anyone got a list of the keys?
    You mean something like this?

    Reserved Keys in IE 5.5/6
    F – File
    E – Edit
    V – View
    A – Favorites
    T – Tools
    D – Address
    H – Help

    Reserved Keys in NS 7
    F – File
    E – Edit
    V – View
    G – Go
    B – Bookmarks
    T – Tools
    H – Help
    W – Window

    Reserved Keys in Opera 7
    F – File
    E – Edit
    V – View
    N – Navigate
    B – Bookmark
    M – Mail
    W – Window
    H – Help

  8. #33
    Ceci n'est pas Zoef Zoef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    Aaarrrrgh!

    I am currently writing the technical specification for our new site. The actual build is to go to tender, and I was hoping to pin down the tech side of things as much as possible.

    I've just got to the "access keys" bit and was going to include the gov't recommendations (part of our site is a government contract) and my bookmark gave a 404. Came to this thread - same link - page moved

    Try as I might I can't find the sodding document - anyone got a list of the keys?
    Or would this be what you're looking for?
    2.4.4 UK Government accesskeys standard

    The accesskey attribute, introduced in HTML4.0, is intended to provide keyboard shortcuts in that they provide an alternative form of navigation.

    This attribute should be added to the hypertext link element within an HTML page as follows.

    <a href=”whatsnew.htm” accesskey=”2”> What’s New </a>

    This addition allows users with limited physical capabilities to navigate the organisation’s website more easily. There are some drawbacks, for example:

    * functionality depends on the type of operating system you are using,
    * the attribute is only supported by MS Internet Explorer 4 and above and by Netscape 6x versions,
    * with Windows-based systems the user has to press the ‘Alt key’ and the accesskey, and
    * with the Macintosh system the user has to press the ‘Ctrl key’ and the accesskey.

    In the example above, the organisation’s What’s New page has a ‘2’ value given which should be used consistently throughout the Website.

    When a user visits your department’s website for the first time they bring their collective experience gained from all other sites. It is, therefore, important that UK Government Websites adopt a constant accesskeys standard. Variations from this will make it more difficult for users as they have to learn new navigational skills each time.

    Listed below is the recommended UK Government accesskeys standard:

    S - Skip navigation
    1 - Home page
    2 - What's new
    3 - Site map
    4 - Search
    5 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
    6 - Help
    7 - Complaints procedure
    8 - Terms and conditions
    9 - Feedback form
    0 - Access key details

    When this navigational system is made available, it is important to inform your website users, as soon as they enter. Otherwise, users who are least able to do so will be faced with a mouse-dependent navigational system that could have been bypassed. Each page could display a message, e.g. ‘UK government accesskeys system’

    Web managers can extend this system by attributing any one of the other 25 alphabetic characters to pages within their website but should ensure that the core elements listed above are used. It is important to ensure that the additional keys selected do not compromise shortcut keys used by various browsers, e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer ‘alt h’ drops down the help menu.
    Rik
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  9. #34
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I spent ages looking for that, ended up phoning them, and am still waiting for a reply. V embarressed now, you're a star
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  10. #35
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    I've just got to the "access keys" bit and was going to include the gov't recommendations (part of our site is a government contract) and my bookmark gave a 404. Came to this thread - same link - page moved
    yup, the e-envoy moved their pages in quite a mysterious way and seem to be incapable of implementing simple redirections...and their search engine seems to just bring up PDF documents

    point 2.4.4 on http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/Resources/...092&chk=XHiT3L is the new location of the accesskeys...a lovely, user friendly and easy to memorise URL again (what's that about "cool URI's don't change ?" )
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  11. #36
    Ceci n'est pas Zoef Zoef's Avatar
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    Maybe they should read their own book, section 3.11 :
    File names should be kept short but should also be descriptive
    Cracks you up, doesn't it.

    Rik
    English tea - Italian coffee - Maltese wine - Belgian beer - French Cognac

  12. #37
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Hi everybody!

    If you do not know this site, you better have a look! You can find very valuable information about this topic!!!

    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/accesskey.html

    Have fun by reading!


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