Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

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Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

Jason White-14
According to the Mozilla keyboard bindings page, in order to use the backspace
key under Linux to move to the previous Web page, it is necessary to set the
browser.backspace_action preference. I searched prefs.js, but this option
doesn't appear to exist. Neither does the backspace key work as described in
Firefox 3 beta 5.

Fortunately, Alt-cursor_left works, as documented, serving the same function.

Is the documentation out of date in this respect?
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Shortcuts

Also, and rather belatedly, thanks are due to everyone involved in Mozilla
accessibility, especially the ATK/AT-SPI implementation and the generic
Mozilla accessibility work, for excellent efforts over the years, the benefits
of which are really starting to become evident now in making Web content more
accessible.

If Web content involves client-side scripting, in particular DOM manipulations
XML HTTP requests and the rest, then Firefox is currently the only way to
access it under Linux with braille or speech output, assuming of course that
it implements Aria or is otherwise accessible. For less demanding content
there is a host of text-based user agents, including some that take advantage
of the Mozilla Javascript interpreter. However, for genuine access one needs
a full implementation of everything that is standard (and often, regrettably,
not so standard) in HTML/XHTML/CSS/Javascript/APIs.

The structural navigation features provided by Orca are also invaluable.

I know I'll be the source of bug reports as I work with this environment more
extensively, but the underlying message is that it's already very good aso far
as basic accessibility is concerned, and will only improve. I note the
priorities placed appropriately on test suites and such areas as MathML and
SVG in the development plans post Firefox 3, which should help to consolidate
the progress made so far, while remedying areas of inadequate access related
to mathematics and graphics.

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Re: Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

Marco Zehe-3
Hi Jason,

first of all, thanks for your feedback!  It is always encouraging to
find out that more and more users are actually starting to browse the
web on Linux using Firefox 3.  And I have no doubt that there will be
good feedback in those bug reports as well!

Jason White wrote:
> According to the Mozilla keyboard bindings page, in order to use the backspace
> key under Linux to move to the previous Web page, it is necessary to set the
> browser.backspace_action preference. I searched prefs.js, but this option
> doesn't appear to exist. Neither does the backspace key work as described in
> Firefox 3 beta 5.
The preference may not be in prefs.js because it is one of the default
values. In your Location bar, type about:config, and acknowledge the
"I'll be careful" warning message.
Then, use the search box to filter and search for the preference.
Set it to a value of 0 (in Linux, 2 is the default) to map the Backspace
key to go back, and Shift+BackSpace to go forward.

Here's a MozillaZine article describing the possible values and their
effects:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.backspace_action


hth!

Marco
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Re: Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

T.V Raman
In this context, one useful thing to be able to do  in FF3 --
perhaps could be written as an addon is the following:

Create the ability to dump out a currentPrefs.js file that
captures *all* user preferences, even if they are  at their
default setting.

This would be a useful work around for solving the chicken and
egg situation that often arises: namely, "you need to configure
FF like so to work well with technology Y", but to   update the
setting, you need to use FF's GUI which has a hard time with AT
Y until it has been configured as suggested.

In general having a  currentSettings.js file would solve this
rather nicely --

Marco Zehe writes:
 > Hi Jason,
 >
 > first of all, thanks for your feedback!  It is always encouraging to
 > find out that more and more users are actually starting to browse the
 > web on Linux using Firefox 3.  And I have no doubt that there will be
 > good feedback in those bug reports as well!
 >
 > Jason White wrote:
 > > According to the Mozilla keyboard bindings page, in order to use the backspace
 > > key under Linux to move to the previous Web page, it is necessary to set the
 > > browser.backspace_action preference. I searched prefs.js, but this option
 > > doesn't appear to exist. Neither does the backspace key work as described in
 > > Firefox 3 beta 5.
 > The preference may not be in prefs.js because it is one of the default
 > values. In your Location bar, type about:config, and acknowledge the
 > "I'll be careful" warning message.
 > Then, use the search box to filter and search for the preference.
 > Set it to a value of 0 (in Linux, 2 is the default) to map the Backspace
 > key to go back, and Shift+BackSpace to go forward.
 >
 > Here's a MozillaZine article describing the possible values and their
 > effects:
 > http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.backspace_action
 >
 >
 > hth!
 >
 > Marco
 > _______________________________________________
 > dev-accessibility mailing list
 > [hidden email]
 > https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility

--
Best Regards,
--raman

Title:  Research Scientist      
Email:  [hidden email]
WWW:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/
Google: tv+raman
GTalk:  [hidden email], [hidden email]
PGP:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/raman-almaden.asc

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Re: Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Jason White-14
Hi Jason,

We no longer need to edit any .js file to change prefs in Mozilla. Go to
the URL bar and type about:config. You will get a list of changeable
prefs. There is a quicksearch textfield to help you find what you need.
If the pref you're looking for isn't there, you can create it by typing
Shift+F10 on one of the items and asking to create a new one.

- Aaron
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Re: Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

Jason White-14
In reply to this post by T.V Raman
On Mon, Apr 07, 2008 at 07:55:46AM -0700, T.V Raman wrote:
> In this context, one useful thing to be able to do  in FF3 --
> perhaps could be written as an addon is the following:
>
> Create the ability to dump out a currentPrefs.js file that
> captures *all* user preferences, even if they are  at their
> default setting.

This is an excellent suggestion. A scenario that comes to mind here is the
combination of Firevox with Emacspeak, where it would be desirable to have a
shell script (or indeed a Perl or Python script) that would install all
necessary files and make all necessary modifications to the Firefox settings,
without the user's having a Firefox session running, or even being able to
access it non-visually with Orca or another assistive technology.

Incidentally, returning to the original subject of this thread, I couldn't
find the backspace setting in the list provided by the Firefox GUI under
about:config, or in prefs.js. I didn't realize that the about:config list
wasn't comprehensive, and that prefs.js just stores the values that have been
changed from the defaults.

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Re: Backspace key in Linux; progress with Mozilla accessibility

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Marco Zehe-3
Raman, such a feature may exist. However, I strongly suggest filing a
bug at bugzilla.mozilla.org. In general that's the best way to get the
right people to look at suggestions for new features. This newsgroup is
just for a11y and we're not the right people to consider the idea or
provide feedback. If your idea is already possible then someone from the
community will comment how to do it, and close the bug.

- Aaron
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