W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2011

Re: Last Call feedback on Date/Time controls

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2011 18:29:01 -0700
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=YZyhSxCzCEKM3+JD3KELLT7UPsiOYNGk=wsk9sU9q8Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>
Cc: "HTML WG (public-html@w3.org)" <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com> wrote:
> 1. Control styling
> a. Designers and developers of major web sites care very deeply about the
>   experience users get on their sites. The major frameworks that provide
>   datetime controls today all allow the developer to choose how the controls
>   appear, specifying how many months to show at a time and styling properties
>   of the calendar so that the experience fits the context of the site.
>   Without the ability to style these controls developers will be wary of
>   replacing their current implementations.

This is definitely solely a CSS issue.  The CSSWG is interested in
specifying the styling of form controls in some way, including date
inputs, but it's a hard problem.

> 2. Date formatting
> a. Date formatting is another challenging issue due to both web site needs and
>   localisation challenges. For some web sites it may be very important to show
>   the day of the week, for others it isn't. Web developers will want to choose
>   from the various options to determine how dates are displayed on their site.

Displaying the date within the form control is up to the UA.
Displaying the submitted date within the page is already 100% under
the page's control.

> b. Localisation is also challenging for date formatting since the way dates are
>   formatted can change their meanings to different people. Because web sites
>   might want to echo back the selected dates in a query result it may produce
>   a more consistent experience for the end users if the site could choose the
>   date formatting.

Can you give an example of how presenting a date in different ways can
change their meaning?  Besides the obvious difference of some parts of
the world using "MM/DD/YY" and others using "DD/MM/YY", I can't
immediately see any problems.

> 3. String localisation
> a. There are numerous examples on the web today of web developers searching
>   for a way to localise the 'browse' button that is used on file upload
>   controls [1],[2],[3],[4],[5]. There is already at least one public example
>   of web developers asking how they can localise the date control [6]. A rich
>   datetime control requires strings and it should be expected that string
>   localisation will become an issue in these controls if developers do not
>   have a way to specify their requirements.

This shouldn't be the author's problem, in my opinion.  Localization
of strings in form controls should be based on the UA's language, so
that everything is consistent.  There's no reason for every author to
re-solve this problem when it can be solved once per UA.

Received on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 01:29:49 UTC

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