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dropdown widgets need some loving

  1. hello there,

    I'm talking about a 'dropdown' optional feature which could be enabled on 'Category' and 'Archive' widgets.

    while it could be a rather useful feature as it saves some space on sidebar, it has several problems:

    * first of all, being a Form Select element it is certainly missing a form Submit button, which makes it unusable for non Javascript enabled browsers (accessibility assisting software) -- user can't select a category/month without JS switched on;

    * next, a current approach used ('onchange' event JS handler) makes this widget unusable for keyboard (visually impaired) users and their accesibility assisting software (usually based on win IE, like 'JAWS').

    The JavaScript causes the browser to go to a new page using onChange or when the user selects an item from the select list. If the end user is using a keyboard, the onChange event handler is executed for every item within the list. It is impossible for the user to directly select the last item in the list, as each previous item within the list will trigger the page change. The only way the user can select the last menu item is by navigating to the page for the first item in the list, then pressing the "Back" button, navigating to the second item, then pressing the "Back" button, and so forth until the last menu item is accessed.

    see also http://html.cita.uiuc.edu/auto/onchange.php for example (but mind both their "solution" seem to me rather far from the best practices);

    * and finally, whereas a drop-down combo list-box is handy UI element (as it hides its content) I'd love to see hiearchical category widget implemented as DHTM/CSS expandable tree which fallback gracefully down to simple unordered list like in the http://www.scss.com.au/family/andrew/webdesign/explorertree/ (look for "Google" menu tree example on this page).

    thank you for reading.

  2. I never thought about the accessibility aspect. Good point on the inability to "submit" the selection.

    And I love the idea of a DHTML tree!!!! I don't like the dropdown, but my tag collection is too large, so I have to use the dropdown. They are organized into parent tags, though, so a tree is perfect.

    I have many suggestions, too. I just noticed the "Support" option is visible on the dashboard again. Which one is for Feedback.. hmm...

  3. As we no longer have "Feedback" buttons, I assume you just use "Support" for submitting ideas now http://wordpress.com/contact-support/

  4. I love the mattlook tag options, think it'll work?

  5. oh, certainly it won't.

    it's here just for fun and... (who knows) convinience.

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