[Kde-accessibility] making fallback access keys configurable
Olaf Jan Schmidt
ojschmidt at kde.org
Fri Mar 3 11:16:35 CET 2006
We are currently repeating a discussion we had on the kde-hci list close
before the release of KDE 3.5.
I will summarise the outcome:
* The accesskey feature itself cannot be removed or turned into a hidden
configuration option without breaking the string freeze (the "HTML 4.01
built-in" would have to be changed to "HTML 4.01 partially supported").
* The fallback keys are a very nice accessibility feature, even if the
accessibility team did not request it. When we discussed this last, I
consented to removing it before the 3.5 release if the usability team
suggests so. They did not have a consensus on it. I don't think it is a good
idea to silently remove or hide it now in a minor release after users have
got used to it.
* Requiring the user to press the Ctrl key twice, or to hold down the key for
a longer time, would clash with the accessibility keyboard settings. This is
especially true if combined with a timeout. Remember that severely impaired
users are among those who use accesskeys, and they are typically much slower
in handling the keyboard.
* To avoid usability problems, it would be best to replace Ctrl with some
other shortcut, e.g. F8. It is easy to make this change for KDE4, when we
will address the keyboard navigation in KDE altogether.
* Changing the shortcut within in a minor release or a dot release only makes
sense if we find a way to make accesskey users aware of the change. The
usability team found no solution for this when we discussed it last time.
* It seems that the resistance to the accesskeys partly comes from some bugs
in the implementation that I personally have difficulties reproducing. I also
don't want to take maintainership for every accessibility-related feature or
bug in KDE. I am already short of time writing proper accessibility
guidelines for developers, which makes more sense long-term than trying to
fix accessibility problems myself while other developers open new ones all
Olaf Jan Schmidt, KDE Accessibility co-maintainer, open standards
accessibility networker, Protestant theology student and webmaster of
http://accessibility.kde.org/ and http://www.amen-online.de/
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