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Re: The <label>

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2007 20:10:52 -0400
To: Craig Francis <craig@synergycms.com>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20070804235354.M65977@hicom.net>
aloha, craig!

i too share your concern for the limitations of LABEL as it is currently
implemented -- i'm attaching an html example slash test document i 
created for the systems team at w3c, with whom i've worked off and on 
on accessibility and usability issues for the past 7 or 8 years...

it illustrates the FIELDSET, LEGEND and LABEL model, which CANNOT work
without the explicit binding of LABEL (and HTML 4.01 does allow multiple
labels to point at a common target) to a form control, especially when 
the form is embedded in a table, where implicit associations are 
impossible...  FIELDSET provides a grouping mechanism, LEGEND provides 
context for the grouping of form fields, and LABEL provides context for
individual form controls...

other re-formatted forms with detailed commentary on the changes and 
need for change, can be found at:

1. <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/temp/BoA/atm_locator_gjr.html>
constructed for the Bank of America, in an attempt to provide them 
with crucial feedback about their web site and the tag soup they 
utilized to create it -- unfortunately, after getting a fair deal of 
what i advised implemented, BoA changed the vendor who provides their 
web presence and services, and most of the work i had been successful
in getting them to incorporate, no longer comprises part of the BoA 
site's code.  the initial detailed report i compiled for BoA is 
archived at:

includes link to changelog and illustrates options, including FIELDSET
inside a table

3. <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/temp/google/scholar/>
includes links to comments excised from the reformat's document source;
and an accessible alternate search form; note that this material dates 
from the spring of 2006, and is not intended as a criticism of google's 
current approach to forms, which have benefitted immeasureably since 
raman began working at google

4. and a 2001 message outlining specific changes necessary for the 
then-extant request for WAI QuickTip cards:


i hope that these illustrations are of assistance to you,

CRITIC, n.  A person who boasts himself hard to please because
nobody tries to please him.
                     -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
   Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus/
      Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html

---------- Original Message -----------
From: Craig Francis <craig@synergycms.com>
To: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
Sent: Sat, 4 Aug 2007 18:50:54 +0100
Subject: The <label>

> I might be a little early on the discussion here, as it seems 
> the  spec is missing this part, in regards to the <label> tag:
> <http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/html5/spec/Overview.html? 
> rev=1.171&content-type=text/html;%20charset=iso-8859-1#the-label>
> Where it states "See WF2 for now" (Web Forms 2.0).
> Anyway, I have recently been working on a website where the 
> fields  
> (radio) were presented in a tabular layout... its one of those 
> "rate  out of 5" types where the thing to be rated is set per 
> row, and the  columns are the radio fields 1 to 5.
> Technically its possible to have used a drop down menu (select), 
>  however we had a design to match.
> While developing it, I was hoping to have the headers 
> effectively be  the labels, instead of having to write out an 
> off-screened label for  each field.
> I know its technically possible (although current screen readers 
>  don't really support it), to give an input field multiple 
> labels...  which was one part to the problem... however in HTML4 
> "the for  attribute associates a label with another control 
> explicitly"... so I  could not assign the label to multiple 
> input fields.
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/forms.html#h-17.9.1>
> What I am proposing is that the @for attribute can take multiple,
>   space separated, id's to list the related fields... in the 
> same was  that the @class attribute can take multiple CSS classes.
> ---
> Also, on perhaps an un-related note... I am not too keen on the 
> use of:
> <label>Name <input... /></label>
> I know this is implicit linking of the field to the label, 
> without  the need for the @for attribute... but I was under the 
> impression  that xml cascades the meaning down to child nodes, 
> so does this imply  that the <input>, a field, is also a label?
> For me it just seems like a hack to increase the hit area in 
> visual  browsers.
> Craig
------- End of Original Message -------

Received on Sunday, 5 August 2007 00:11:34 UTC

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