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RE: Access keys, ie6


From: jukka.korpela@tieke.fi
Date: Jan 22, 2002 4:17AM

Paul Bohman wrote:

> The accesskey attribute is supported in Netscape 6.
- -
> The WebAIM has a few accesskeys specified:
- -

This, and other messages in the thread, have given me much better
understanding of the accesskey attribute, so I used them to update my old
page on it:

> I have mixed feelings about accesskeys.

So have I, although there seems to be some slow progress. I think the key
question (no pun intended) is whether accesskey assignments in HTML
documents can work without disturbing the existing accessability tools that
are available in different programs and in use by people who really need

Perhaps using digit keys is the only _safe_ way, and maybe the WebAIM
assignments could be made into some sort of "standard". If users got the
idea that a few access keys work across sites, they might also get the idea
that there might be additional site-specific assignments, and they could
look for them. If there were a standard symbol, naturally with a text-only
variant, that indicates 'this site uses WebAIM access keys' and that is a
link to a short page that explains what it's all about, we could make some

> By the way, I actually prefer the way that Netscape handles
> accesskeys.

This is a moot point. The way Netscape 6 handles them is closer to the
spirit of the HTML 4 specification, but functionally, it means reduced
accessibility: you cannot simply focus on a link without doing anything
else. You might wish to get there just to tab forward, or to use some
browser-dependent method of accessing the resource, or perhaps see an
associated TYPE and TITLE attribute values, so that one could see what's
being accessed, before opening a 10 megabytes PDF file. (No, IE doesn't
show such info upon focusing, but a good browser should give optional
access to such information before following a link.) Or, who knows, you
might just wish to trigger an onfocus event handler.

The following part of the original question has remained unanswered, as far
as I can see:

"As I understand, ie 4 and 5 are as follows:

Microsoft IE4 press 'alt' and letter at the same time
Microsoft IE5 press 'alt' and letter then press enter

is that right?"

In my experience, all versions of IE on Windows platforms from version 4.0
onwards support accesskey the same way, except that in 4.0 it was supported
for letters only - but I may have missed something.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela

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