W3C   W3C Internationalization (I18n) Activity: Making the World Wide Web truly world wide!

Related links

Other reviews

Review radar

Core WG home page

Internationalization Comments on XHTML Access

Version reviewed: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/2008/WD-xhtml-access-20080526/
Lead reviewer and date of initial review: Richard Ishida, jun 2008
Subject lead in: [XHTML Access]

These are comments on behalf of the Internationalization Core WG, unless otherwise stated. The "Owner" column indicates who has been assigned the responsibility of tracking discussions on a given comment.

We recommend that responses to the comments in this table use a separate email for each point. This makes it far easier to track threads. Click on the icons in the right-most column to see email discussions.

ID Location Subject Comment Owner Ed. /
1 3.1.2 Use of terms key and access key

The term 'access key' seems to be used to refer to the value of the key attribute in one part of this section, and to a key on a physical keyboard in other places.

The word 'key' is also used in ways that are not clearly tied down, especially in light of the above.

Please clearly define what is meant when these terms are used and use them consistently.

2 3.1.2 Keycode or character

It isn't clear that this section has taken into account the potential difference between key codes and the characters that may result from a key press on a given keyboard. It seems to assume that the character on a key cap == the key code identifier == the character produced by pressing that key == the character that is the value of the key attribute.

This is not always the case when you take into account a variety of keyboards serving various different locales.

Please provide some precision as to how a key attribute value is associated with keyboard events. (Note that this has proved to be a difficult topic for the specification of DOM3 keyboard events.)

3 3.1.2 Reference to accesskey

We were surprised to find no reference to the existing accesskey markup, and its relationship to the markup described here.

4 3.1.2 Rendering by user agent

"The rendering of access keys depends on the user agent. We recommend that authors include the access key character in label text or wherever the access key is to apply. If the user agent can recognize that the currently mapped access key character appears in the label text of the element to which it is mapped, then the user agent may render the character in such a way as to emphasize its role as the access key and distinguish it from other characters (e.g., by underlining it)."

This is likely to be problematic for non-Western text. For example, in scripts that combine character into complex shapes (such as Hindi/Devanagari or Urdu/Nastaliq) it can be difficult to isolate a specific character. For such scripts it is likely to be better to give the control to the author when identifying the character to highlight.

In some cases the author may include the access key in parentheses after the label, in others they may prefer to highlight a letter in the label itself.

5 General Examples and explanations

Phrasing such as 'assigning an accessibility mapping' or 'the document focus or an inspection focus' are not very clear, and there is no clarification or links to definitions. A few more examples, and explanations of how they affect the user experience (not just code snippets), would also be welcome.


Page template by Richard Ishida (ishida@w3.org).