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Re: arguments for retention of LEGEND and FIELDSET

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2007 19:30:47 -0700
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <1F37E895-4A62-4EDC-8CE2-E2C812458BBD@apple.com>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>


The fieldset and legend elements are present in the current draft of  
Web Forms 2 and are not deprecated. I have not heard of any plans to  
either remove or deprecate them, and I don't think the informative  
note you mentioned is in any way indicative of this. It describes how  
to find a form control's associated <fieldset> element by looking for  
it in the DOM ancestor chain, which is just the way it has always  
worked.

Has anyone said anything to the contrary?

Regards,
Maciej

On Aug 4, 2007, at 6:58 PM, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:

>
> in the Web Forms 2.0 section 7.11 it is not only written:
>
> quote
> 7.11. Labels
>
> Form controls all have a labels DOM attribute that lists all the
> label elements that refer to the control (either through the for
> attribute or via containership),in document order.
>
> Similarly, HTMLLabelElements have a control DOM attribute that
> points to the associated element node, if any.
>
> A label must be listed in the labels list of the control to which
> its control attribute points, and no other.
> unquote
>
> then, in a cavalier aside, it is noted:
>
> quote
> Assistive technologies may use the labels attribute to determine
> what label to read out when a control is focused. An assistive
> technology could also wish to determine if the element is in a
> fieldset group. To do so, it should walk up the element's
> parentNode chain to find the fieldset ancestors.
> unquote
>
> this is insufficient and an enormous step backwards...
>
> why?  because an assistive technology, such as a screen reader,
> functions quite like a blind person, not knowing what it is
> which it has come into contact with, UNLESS that item has an
> explicit LABEL, belongs to an explicit FIELDSET, whose title
> is encased in LEGEND.
>
> reasoning:
>
> 1. an assistive technology cannot be relied upon to correctly
>   infer a FIELDSET; FORM controls MUST be explicitly
>   contained in a FIELDSET;
>
>
> 2. a FIELDSET contains a related grouping of form controls,
>   each one of which needs to be individually labeled.  the
>   LEGEND allows a non-visual visitor's assistive technology
>   to contextualize the FORM controls bound to the LEGEND,
>   by virtue of their inclusion in the FIELDSET,  there is
>   no way for an assistive technology to associate the
>   nearest header with a form control grouping, unless that
>   header also serves as the LEGEND for the FIELDSET of FORM
>   controls that allow one to "Reply to this Comment".(that,
>   and headers are important for structure and navigation,
>   and it is fitting to use a LEGEND to encase a header.
>
> 3. what is needed is an explicit, not implicit, FIELDSET,
>   and where there is a FIELDSET, there must be a LEGEND.
>
>
> 4. when used in a TABLE-ized FORM, an explicit LEGEND allows
>   assistive technologies to associate the LEGEND with the
>   FIELDSET, although anyone who uses TABLE to control
>   presentation is misusing an element that deserves
>   deprecation in HTML5, as a TABLE has meaning only insofar
>   as one can perceive the visual relationships between data
>   and its labels and categorizations.  therefore, it is
>   merely a presentational model, better handled - and more
>   appropriately relegated - to CSS.
>
>
> 5. an element should NOT be deprecated due to incompenent
>   unimaginative authoring practices (relying on a browser's
>   default styling for LEGEND and FIELDSET) and/or incomplete
>   implementation on the user agent's part; (this was given to
>   me as a reason why Web Forms 2.0 would be dropping LEGEND
>   and FIELDSET because of default browser styling; this
>   constitutes a failure of imagination and implementation on
>   an author's part, and CAN be handled QUITE easily using
>   the CSS box model)
>
>
> gregory.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
> as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them
> with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
>  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
Received on Sunday, 5 August 2007 02:30:56 GMT

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