Spry Widgets and Tab Index

Hi Spry:fans,

It has been a big week here at Adobe. We announced CS3, so we can finally talk about Spry integration into DW. While I will jump into that topic in more detail later, I just wanted to quickly discuss a point that has been brought up in reference to widgets, accessibility and standards.

We are using tabindex in our widgets, like on the Collapsible Panel and Menu bar, to enable keyboard navigation. It has been pointed out by some that this doesn’t validate as it is an improper use of the attribute.

We are taking the tack of favoring accessibility and usability over validation in this scenario. Both IE and Mozilla-based browsers have implemented the tabindex to work on most page element just for this reason. We feel that this usefulness for accessibility outweighs validation concerns.

Of course, our widgets are set up to also accept tags in the tabs, which will allow it to get focus. Choose either method.

While tabindex will fail current W3C validation, the standards are catching up. Note that Tab Index is discussed in W3C specs, including the WAI-ARIA:

The Spry team will be discussing standards and accessibility more in the near future.

P.S. Note on the 1.5 Preview: We just added the Effects Migration doc that explains the changes that will be required to go from 1.4 to 1.5.