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> I'm moderately annoyed you think I don't already know all these things.

I was not suggesting you didn't, but more than one person will read this conversation.

> This is clearly a worse experience for the user because it means hints are shown to users for whom they make no sense.

Or to users for whom you don't know that they do make sense. If you guess incorrectly that a device doesn't have a keyboard when it does, you'll prevent users from discovering your keyboard shortcuts.

I would also suggest that web standards need to improve, to make it easier to help figure out which hints to offer. For instance, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to offer a mechanism to detect "should I show hints for keyboard shortcuts", which desktop browsers would always enable, and mobile devices would enable if they have an attached keyboard or if the user is using another mechanism that might allow for shortcuts. And one day, perhaps we'll have a standard for keyboard shortcuts that will allow users to remap those shortcuts and allow the browser to provide "native" hints that those shortcuts exist.

I'm not trying to suggest that the current state is ideal, or that it can't be improved. I'm suggesting that user-agent-based detection is in some ways worse.

> no! everything must be the same on everything

That's not what I said. I'm suggesting that everything should be accessible on every platform. You might well make adaptations and hints based on screen size, or based on whether the user has previously typed keys directly at something other than a text box; just don't make assumptions the user can't work around or change if you've detected them incorrectly. I've dealt with sites that force the use of mobile if they catch the slightest whiff of "this might be a mobile device", and the mobile experience is far less capable. (That's leaving aside the anti-pattern of "are you sure you want to use a web browser instead of our app?".)

Personally, I would suggest detecting if someone "types at" the page without being in an input box, and offering to not only focus the input box but set a device-local preference to automatically do so in the future.






I think the thrust of GPs argument is "Before they take away the UA string (the one clumsy tool that I can use to half-accomplish my goals) I wish they'd add official APIs to detect these kinds of things".



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