More on Fluid's approach to keyboard bindings

Daphne Ogle daphne at
Mon Jan 26 23:53:17 UTC 2009

Did anything ever come of the research mentioned at the end of Colin's  


On Jan 23, 2009, at 4:12 PM, Paul Zablosky wrote:

> Hi Allison,
>     I did make an attempt to identify the behaviour of common  
> keystrokes across the Fluid components, and summarize the results in  
> a table.  I soon found that this is difficult to do -- many of the  
> key controls are modal, and can't be shoehorned into a 2-dimensional  
> table. ( You really need a dimension for each mode.)   The result is  
> at  -- which also refers to the  
> DHTML Style Guide.  The DHTML Style Guide uses a simple linear list  
> with hierarchies, which may be the best way to represent the  
> behaviours, but isn't really good for comparison across components  
> -- or their widgets for that matter.  I never did come up with a  
> presentation format that really does the job.
> Paul
> Allison Bloodworth wrote:
>> 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  
>> D Group's document:
>> I think there's also a bit of info on this topic here:
>> This possibly (tangentially?) related document was in an email Eli  
>> sent out to fluid-work last month:
>> 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 helpful--thanks!
>> Allison
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> From: Colin Clark <colin.clark at>
>>> Date: March 20, 2008 2:45:54 PM PDT
>>> To: fluid-work <fluid-work at>
>>> 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 inje  
>>> ration 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 nology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>> fluid-work at
>> Allison Bloodworth
>> Senior User Interaction Designer
>> Educational Technolog ersity of California, Berkeley
>> (415) 377-8243
>> abloodworth at

Daphne Ogle
Senior Interaction Designer
University of California, Berkeley
Educational Technology Services
daphne at
cell (510)847-0308

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