Re: [Usability] Keyboard navigation- outstanding issues

> Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 19:25:56 +0200
> From: Christian Rose <menthos menthos com>
> To: Calum Benson <calum benson sun com>
> Cc: usability gnome org, gnome-accessibility-list gnome org
> Subject: Re: [Usability] Keyboard navigation- outstanding issues
> Calum Benson wrote:
> > 4) Allow the programmer to set a flag on the text field 
> that specifies
> > whether it allows the entry of Tab characters or not.  If 
> it does, Tab
> > should enter the character, and Ctrl+Tab should navigate out.
> > Otherwise, Tab should navigate, and Ctrl+Tab should do nothing.
> I think 4) is the best way. This is because
> a) There's not many text fields that needs Tab as a valid input
> character (I can hardly think of one)

Entering a reqular expression, if \t doesn't work would be one.

> b) For those who really do, it should be obvious for the 
> programmer that
> this flag needs to be set

Maybe not always. Such a flag could lead to programmers setting it
everywhere (just in case), making it less usable.

> c) Unhindered Tab navigation is a very important feature for many
> keyboard-navigating users, regardless of if it's because of
> accessibility or people just wanting to give their mouse a rest. If I

As a blind user, I strongly agree to this last one. I can just imagine my
frustration when finding spurious tab characters in entries, inserted by
myself, just because a programmer decided that someone, someday, could want
to have a tab character in that text field...

Well, 4) is reasonable, here is another one:
What about something like Ctrl-q in Emacs, that inserts the following
character regardless of what it would do normally. This makes entering a Tab
character quite non-intuitive, but IMO the Tab character in itself is
non-intuitive (it doesn't look like what it is, for example). IMO, if you
really need a Tab character, you are what I'd call an "advanced user", and
therefore should be able to know how to "quote" a tab character. Ofcourse,
this wouldn't apply to the enter key. IMO, it should still insert a newline
character in multiline fields.

Best Regards,
//Peter N. Lundblad

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