Dynamic Accesskeys

Accesskeys in (X)HTML is an example of a beautiful hypothesis being ruined by an ugly fact. The theory of being able to assign keys to activate links in web pages is sound but the reality is that the choice of keys is limited by those that are used to control the browser (and of course the reserved ones are different for each browser); there are no standards for which keys to use for common tasks such as 'home' or 'next page'; and every operating system has a different method of combining keys (e.g. CTRL+A, ALT+A Apple+A). Here's one approach to solving part of the problem: dynamically assigned accesskeys. The technique is to allow each user to specify they keys they want to use for common functions on the site and use Javascript to assign them on each page load. Presumably the key assignments are stored in a cookie for later. Interesting technique.

Permalink: http://blog.iandavis.com/2005/11/dynamic-accesskeys/

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