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Bug 23284 - The accesskey attribute should be translatable
Summary: The accesskey attribute should be translatable
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: HTML a11y Task Force (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All All
: P2 normal
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Charles McCathieNevile
QA Contact: This bug has no owner yet - up for the taking
Keywords: a11y, a11ytf
Depends on:
Reported: 2013-09-19 09:20 UTC by Staś Małolepszy
Modified: 2014-12-18 14:41 UTC (History)
12 users (show)

See Also:


Description Staś Małolepszy 2013-09-19 09:20:26 UTC
The "accesskey" attribute should be translatable by default.  For instance, to use the example from the section on the "accesskey" attribute [1]:

  <a title="Technical Reports and Recommendations" accesskey="T" href="/TR/">Technical Reports</a> |
  <a title="About This Site" accesskey="B" href="/Consortium/">About Consortium</a> |
  <a title="Contact Consortium" accesskey="C" href="/Consortium/contact">Contact</a>

When translating into Polish, I might want to change the values of the accesskey attributes to match the translated text:

  <a title="Raporty i zalecenia techniczne" accesskey="R" href="/TR/">Raporty techniczne</a> |
  <a title="Informacje o tej stronie" accesskey="O" href="/Consortium/">O Konsorcjum</a> |
  <a title="Skontaktuj się" accesskey="K" href="/Consortium/contact">Kontakt</a>

Comment 1 Jirka Kosek 2013-09-19 10:10:34 UTC
I disagree. In majority of cases you want to keep keyboard shortcuts same across various localizations of page/application.

External ITS rules can be used to enable translation of any attribute in your document. See
Comment 2 dmacdona 2013-09-19 13:30:10 UTC
Are there still use cases for ACCESSKEY?
My take on it is that it is a failed attempt to provide easy keyboard access for keyboard only users.
Comment 3 Devarshi Pant 2013-09-20 14:45:02 UTC
I believe access keys can be useful when implemented properly. A good example is that while tabbing through a list of form fields, a user can advance to the next page by pressing the Next (Alt + N) button or submit the form by pressing the Submit (Alt + S) button. This is also helpful when there are numerous controls inside a table and the keyboard focus has to be shifted outside the table. We use it all the time on frequently used controls and it has been well received.
Comment 4 Robin Berjon 2013-09-23 08:03:28 UTC
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
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Status: Rejected
Change Description: none
Rationale: I agree with Jirka's comment #1, in general shortcuts ought not to be translated (they are not properly translatable content) and there exist tools to enable that if needed.
Comment 5 Charles McCathieNevile 2014-12-18 14:41:19 UTC
Whether shortcuts should be be translated or not is an open question in some cases, but in others it is important. For example, none of the keys in the sequence "йцукенгшщзхъ" are available to millions of users. However, for those who do have those keys, anything in the sequence "qwertyuiop[]" is going to be more difficult to access and less likely to be memorable.

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to do as requested and change the accesskey in a translated version of the page.

Additionally, it is possible to use multiple keys, e.g. accesskey="ц w", if desirable.