Before there was micro$oft windos and before the use of a mouse was forced upon us any good application would use the function keys.
A menu (for say a text editor) would look like this:
[F1] create new text file
[F2] open file
Alternatively one could use the arrow keys, the joystick or any other input device to select one of those options.
Using the function keys however offered high speed access to the functions of the application.
After making a selection in the main menu a sub menu would appear for example:
[F1] back to main menu
[F2] open from disk A
[F3] open from disk B
[F4] open from disk C
This would allow the end user to press [F2][F3] to open a file from disk B.
If you have seen the menu 10 times before you know what function key does what. Browsing around the functions of the application goes hundreds of times faster than using a mouse. The irrational key board "shortcuts" do not compare, they tend to use the keyboard in all the wrong ways. The whole purpose of having function keys is to trigger functionality. Mine are covered in a thick layer of dust. It seems obvious to me that the FUNCTION keys need to be re-assigned to the web application because that is what they are for. Things not just happen to work the way they do but they actually never used to work the way they currently do and fail to be useful for the purpose of their intend. No one is ever going to make more than 120 mouseclicks per minute it would be a miraculous accomplishment to say the least. The keyboard allows way over 300 keystrokes per minute and there isn't any reading, aiming or clicking involved.
I know it is pointless to suggest using the function keys for the actual purpose they have been implemented for. No one is going to support using a spoon for a spoon.
It does beg to question what happened to rational decisions vs dogmatic implementations. It seems a lot like the most accepted way of doing things should be the industrial standard which of course is irrational in it self. Any change then becomes something we don't want.
What are your thoughts on this?
(requires my Opera account)