WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: custom swipe gestures


From: Chaals McCathie Nevile
Date: Nov 17, 2015 3:15AM

On Tue, 17 Nov 2015 04:56:10 +0100, Jennison Mark Asuncion
< <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> I wrote a post today on a mobile accessibility topic I have not seen
> talked about, the impact custom swipe gestures can cause, which I
> thought might be of interest
> https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-implementing-swipe-gestures-causes-mobile-issue-jennison-asuncion

This is the exact mobile equivalent of using javascript to provide
keyboard shortcuts. With exactly the same problem - except magnified
because people currently use fewer gestures than keys.

There are a couple of important pieces to the puzzle:
- having a way to discover the controls for a given app, web or otherwise.
The web is currently terrible at this - accesskey at least allows
*programs* to discover what has been declared, although only screen
readers and *very* obscure browsers seem to do anything useful to help
actual *people*.
- having a way to resolve conflicts
First you need to know they are there - see above - but then ideally
you have a way to actually provide shortcuts for both the things that are
trying to use the same key/gesture/etc.
Again, with javascript this falls down on discovery. With accesskey,
IE and Firefox do something that at least works, by making the shortcut
focus each action in turn. Other browsers seem to just let the last claim
win. Screenreaders also win, but thereby lose the shortcut for the app -
the problem as you framed it.
- Shortcuts that *are*
pressing shift-ctrl-alt-"ж" is not actually a shortcut for most users.
Even with a cyrillic keyboard, it's not especially handy.

My proposal to update the specification of the accesskey attribute for
HTML is pretty radical in that it doesn't tie accesskey to the keyboard,
but does try to resolve these issues - and also tries to reflect reality.

The proposal draft is at http://chaals.github.io/accesskey/index.src.html
and comments are very welcome - the default place for discussion is the
W3C Web Incubator Community Group, via the discourse thread at
http://discourse.wicg.io/t/user-interaction-with-web-apps/1177 but I also
read this list, obviously, and the WAI IG mailing list.

It turns out that most browsers don't implement the HTML5 accesskey
algorithm, to the point that if you try to offer more than one character
for an accesskey value, you get nothing at all :( On the other hand if you
use it as if it were HTML 4, things are a fair bit better… which is to
say, they would be great if we filed and fixed browser bugs.


Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
<EMAIL REMOVED> - - - Find more at http://yandex.com