[PATCH] Bug 36577: pressing enter when the the backdrop has focus

Olaf Jan Schmidt ojschmidt at kde.org
Wed May 7 21:58:39 BST 2003

Hash: SHA1

[Waldo Bastian]
>For a11y purposes it should be possible to use all of KDE without
> touching a mouse. Being able to select icons and activate them with the
> keyboard is great, but if you still need the mouse to give focus to the
> desktop first then that defeats the purpose a bit.
> I guess we have a lot of work to do in that area because the
> context-menu key doesn't work in a lot of places either :-( 

Indeed. A lot of work needs to be done regarding this. 

Currently KDE is generally quite bad at keyboard accessibility: sometimes 
it is impossible to navigate it using only the keyboard, sometimes it is 
possible, but the keystrokes needed are often very complicated. The 
context-menu key is only occasionally supported.

As an example of the currently situation of keyboard accessibility of KDE, 
I compiled a list of accessibility obstacles I found in KMail and in KDE 
generally (using KDE 3.1.1).


1. The context-menu key works for the mime tree and for the e-mail list, 
but not for the folder list, the attachments and the e-mails themselves. 
2. It is impossible to change the sorting order of e-mails using the 
keyboard. (This refers to all sorted lists in KDE programs.)
3. In some languages (e.g. German), the same accelerators are used for the 
editor window and the menu, meaning that part of the menu is 
4. The tab key usage is inconsistent in the e-mail editor - sometimes the 
key moves the focus to the next GUI element, sometimes a character is 
added to the e-mail message. The right column of GUI elements is 
completely inaccessible using the keyboard. 
5. Attachments can be added, but only the last attachment can be changed 
or deleted using the keyboard.
6. It is impossible to switch between different parts of the mime tree 
using only the keyboard.
7. E-Mails cannot be opened in a seperate window using the keyboard.
8. The tab order of the GUI elements in the filter configuration is very 
strange when using more then two parameters.
9. There don't seem to be shortcuts for directly moving the tab cursor to 
the e-mail list, the folder list, the mime tree ot the attachments of a 
mail. ("Tabbing" through a whole HTML message just to access an 
attachment takes a very long time.)
10. The toolbar is not accessible using the mouse. (This refers to all of 
KDE, but it is OK as long as all functions are accessible using the 

The problems I have found so far concerning KDE in general:

1. The context-menu key is not supported in most places.
2. The desktop is inaccessible using the keyboard. (The keyboard shortcut 
for hiding all windows does not give keyboard focus to the desktop, and 
it does not give keyboard focus to the topmost window when switching 
3. The kicker and child panels are inaccessable using the keyboard.
4. Toolbars are inaccessible using the mouse.
5. The sort order of lists cannot be changed using the keyboard.
6. A shortcut for the menu is missing (in case the accelerators are 
defined several times).
7. The keyboard shortcut for opening a combo box (F4) is not documented on 
the accessibility site. (I'm making a mental note to change this.)
8. When using an embedded konsole in konqueror, the tab key cannot be used 
any longer to cycle through the different views (a key to directly access 
or leave the terminal emulator seems to be missing). This is also true 
for all other programs that set different function for the tab key, like 
editor windows, etc.

> Maybe we should schedule a a11y-week and then release KDE 3.1.3 as a
> special a11y release.

That's a very good idea indeed. As we are very few people in the KDEAP, it 
would be best to announce this on kde-devel and kde-usability as well. 

When do you think this accessibility-week should be scheduled for?

I can setup a page on http://accessibility.kde.org describing which 
exactly are the points people should be looking for.


- -- 
Olaf Jan Schmidt, KDE Accessibility Project
KDEAP co-maintainer, maintainer of http://accessibility.kde.org

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