Fwd: More on Fluid's approach to keyboard bindings

Allison Bloodworth abloodworth at berkeley.edu
Fri Jan 23 23:07:05 UTC 2009

Hi Paul,

A few of us were recently discussing how to determine the proper  
(default) key command to use for a particular interaction (e.g. moving  
around in the date picker). This came up with Erin & I again when we  
talked today with Mike Elledge about date picker accessibility. Daphne  
reminded us that she thought you may have started working on a summary  
document about this a while ago, but I couldn't find it on the wiki.  
Is that out there somewhere that we could reference? I think something  
like that (or even just a document summarizing our thinking if we  
aren't making concrete recommendations for particular keys) would be a  
great thing to put in the UX Toolkit.

Trying to make sense of the various resources I've found...

I'm wondering if we should just be following the guidelines in the  
DHTML Style Guide Working Group's document: http://dev.aol.com/dhtml_style_guide
I think there's also a bit of info on this topic here: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria-practices/#aria_ex
This possibly (tangentially?) related document was in an email Eli  
sent out to fluid-work last month: http://unixpapa.com/js/key.html
And below is an email that Colin sent out about the Fluid approach to  
keyboard bindings a while back.

Any advice other folks have for us on how to handle this would be very  

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Colin Clark <colin.clark at utoronto.ca>
> Date: March 20, 2008 2:45:54 PM PDT
> To: fluid-work <fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
> Subject: More on Fluid's approach to keyboard bindings
> Hi all,
> I have received a couple of questions off-list about how Fluid is
> handling keyboard mappings for our components, and thought I'd try to
> clarify our approach in the Reorderer and underlying framework.
> Recently, Anastasia, Joseph, and Jonathan have been doing a lot of
> testing and analysis to come up with some good, screen reader-friendly
> default keyboard shortcuts for selecting and moving items with the
> Reorderer. We think really good defaults are important, but we also
> want to enable customizability. The Reorderer will support more than
> one keyboard mapping, and will allow alternatives to be injected at
> configuration time or dynamically in by a preferences editor.
> Michelle and I are currently sketching out some Fluid framework code
> that will provide a simple API for components to support customizable
> keyboard mappings. This will prevent developers from having to
> hardcode assumptions about keyboard controls, making components more
> future-proof and interoperable. This approach is in line with our
> general philosophy of allowing flexibility and customization for
> different contexts and user needs.
> With the help of Mike Elledge and Amy Chen at Oracle, we're also going
> to do some quick, targeted user research to learn more about how users
> of screen readers tend to accomplish tasks that are otherwise done
> using mouse-based drag and drop. This will help us to continue to
> refine our designs based on real feedback from users.
> Colin
> ---
> Colin Clark
> Technical Lead, Fluid Project
> Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
> http://fluidproject.org
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at fluidproject.org
> http://fluidproject.org/mailman/listinfo/fluid-work

Allison Bloodworth
Senior User Interaction Designer
Educational Technology Services
University of California, Berkeley
(415) 377-8243
abloodworth at berkeley.edu

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