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Re: Access keys, ie6


From: jukka.korpela@tieke.fi
Date: Jan 24, 2002 7:40AM

Adrian Howard wrote:

> The new version of the "Guidelines for UK Government websites" (currently
> consultation) includes a suggested "standard" list for government sites.
> can find it in the "Framework for senior managers", which can be
> from <http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/webguidelines.htm>;.

A most interesting document, but as so often, a document that promotes
accessibility has itself severe accessibility problems. And I don't mean
just the lack of accesskey assignments. :-) It exists in two PDF versions,
a Word version, and a plain text version (with very long lines). No HTML,
as far as I can see.

> The current list is:

I think the list could be a good starting point for developing a general
recommendation e.g. by the W3C WAI. Basically, I'd say that the scheme
should assign meanings to digit keys as access keys, leaving 1 - 3 of them
unassigned (i.e., for application-specific use). Most of the suggested
assignments are for essential links or functions, so it's indeed a good
basis. But some detailed comments:

> S skip navigation

Using "s" as access key conflicts seriously with pre-assigned access keys
in various programs (e.g. for "search" or "save"). If we can afford an
access key for this purpose, it should be named as referring to "start of
main content". There might be all kinds of skippable content other than

> 1 home page

Fine, but which home? Consider a page of that is part of a publication
which is part of the publications of a unit of an organization etc. Should
the access key take us to the top, or the the smallest enclosing "site"?

> 2 what