Non navigable Date Picker-/Lov/Image Button Icons

I still remember my “usability experience” when I first tried out Oracle APEX and created a form with a Date Picker and a Lov and run the page afterwards.

I had to click tab twice to go from a Date Picker or Lov item to the next item, because the Icon next to the field got the focus.

I was scratching my head and thinking, “Is that the Web-Experience and the easy of use, every manager and Java/JSP/JSF/PHP/… developer is talking about?”.

With that kind of usability should I really throw away our rich-Web-client Oracle*Forms and give the users that kind of interface which they have to use each day long to enter data into the system?

On the OTN forum I read that some are using the HTML tabindex property for each field to get the desired behavior that the icons are skipped, but that’s a lot of work…

That’s where a new functionality of the ApexLib Framework comes into play.

With the new APIs

  • ApexLib_Browser.setLovIconsNonNavigable
  • ApexLib_Browser.setLRButtonIconsNonNavigable

it’s possible to disable the Date Picker/Lov Icons and for Image generated Buttons the left and the right link. Maybe you have already noticed that you have to press 3 times tab to navigate to the next button…


  • ApexLib_Browser.checkForLovKey

registers the key combination “Alt+Down” or “Apple+Down” for each Date Picker/Lov field to be able to open the popup with a key combination as the users from an Oracle*Forms environment are used to.

Try this new enhancements at the ApexLib Feature Demonstration site.

It should work at least with IE 6.0 and FF 2.0. There is only one behavior with Firefox which I haven’t solved yet, when you click the Date Picker item with the mouse, the ApexLib framework set the focus onto the attached field. When the user now presses tab, it sometimes happens that the Date Picker/Lov icon get’s the focus! Maybe someone has a solution for that.

Please let me know if it also works with other browsers. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “Non navigable Date Picker-/Lov/Image Button Icons

  1. Cool. I hope that the ApEx development team some day starts to look in to usability also in the application developer.

  2. It isn’t cool because it does not work. After selecting a date in the popup window the cursor remains in the field 2 and when I press Tab… I land on the date picker icon.

  3. Patrick,

    Great work again, just to let you know it works perfectly for me using Safari on a Mac.

    Also, I could not reproduce the behaviour the ‘anonymous’ user has reported about selecting the date in the popup. That also worked perfectly for me (i.e. I can select a date and then TAB goes to the next field as expected).


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