Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon bars (e.g. in prefs dialog)

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Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon bars (e.g. in prefs dialog)

jasonspiro4 (Bugzilla)
Hi all,

Firefox's "Preferences", "Add-ons", and "Page Info" dialogs have white
icon-filled section-selection bars ("pane icon bars") at the top.  They contain
items like "Main, Tabs, Content, ..., Advanced".

When using the keyboard to navigate the Preferences dialog, it's annoying to get
to the pane icon bar.  You have to press Tab or Shift+Tab half a dozen times
sometimes to move the focus to it.  (Plus it doesn't show a focus rectangle once
you get to it, but that's a separate bug[1] which was already filed.)

What would be a good solution to this?  Letter accesskeys for each?  (It would
be difficult to resolve all letter conflicts that would come up.)  Numerical
accesskeys (when you hold Alt, the numbers would appear)?  One single accesskey
that would focus the pane icon bar?  Or something else?  

Regards,
--Jason Spiro

^  [1].  https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=334370 ("Pane icons in
options dialog should display visible focus rectangle")


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Re: Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon bars(e.g. in prefs dialog)

jasonspiro4 (Bugzilla)
On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 3:17 AM, Rich Caloggero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I vote for the single access key to reach the navigation bar.

But how could users find out that that accesskey exists?

The only idea I can think of is to have a label with an underlined
letter above the pane icon bar.  Maybe if the user opened the prefs
dialog via the mouse, the label would be hidden until the first time
the user presses the Alt key.

Does anyone have an idea which is better?  And/or easier to implement?
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Re: Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon bars(e.g. in prefs dialog)

mozilla accessibility
I know that Jaws can be set to announce access key (shortcut key)
information as you tab to a control. As long as the control is something
that supports shortcut keys in a standard way, then I imagine jaws will
announce it. The idea is that the first time the user sees this dialog, she
may not know of the shortcut key, but after exploring the dialog she will
learn of its existance and can use it going forward.

-- Rich

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason A. Spiro" <[hidden email]>
To: "Rich Caloggero" <[hidden email]>
Cc: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon
bars(e.g. in prefs dialog)


On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 3:17 AM, Rich Caloggero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I vote for the single access key to reach the navigation bar.

But how could users find out that that accesskey exists?

The only idea I can think of is to have a label with an underlined
letter above the pane icon bar.  Maybe if the user opened the prefs
dialog via the mouse, the label would be hidden until the first time
the user presses the Alt key.

Does anyone have an idea which is better?  And/or easier to implement?
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Re: Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon bars(e.g. in prefs dialog)

jasonspiro4 (Bugzilla)
On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM, Rich Caloggero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I know that Jaws can be set to announce access key (shortcut key)
> information as you tab to a control. As long as the control is something
> that supports shortcut keys in a standard way, then I imagine jaws will
> announce it. The idea is that the first time the user sees this dialog, she
> may not know of the shortcut key, but after exploring the dialog she will
> learn of its existance and can use it going forward.

I am fully sighted, and do not use a screen reader.  I just prefer
using the keyboard instead of the mouse most of the time, because the
keyboard is usually more efficient.
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Re: Making it easier to use the keyboard to navigate Fx's pane icon bars(e.g. in prefs dialog)

Ken Saunders-4
In reply to this post by jasonspiro4 (Bugzilla)
There are assigned accesskeys for the Page Info window (tabs), but I
don't understand why they are not underlined, and why there aren't any
assigned accesskeys for other windows (Add-ons, Options) is beyond me.

I can go into Firefox's dtd files and change the accesskeys to
whatever I want, but I don't know how to create one. Is it difficult
to do?

Ken
----------------


On Jul 29, 3:29 pm, "Jason A. Spiro" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 3:17 AM, Rich Caloggero <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I vote for the single access key to reach the navigation bar.
>
> But how could users find out that that accesskey exists?
>
> The only idea I can think of is to have a label with an underlined
> letter above the pane icon bar.  Maybe if the user opened the prefs
> dialog via the mouse, the label would be hidden until the first time
> the user presses the Alt key.
>
> Does anyone have an idea which is better?  And/or easier to implement?

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