W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2013

Re: use of placeholder as a label for an input

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2013 22:28:44 -0800
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <45DF3707-C114-4568-A389-7ECE941D8C08@apple.com>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>

<chair hat off>

I think there are two counterpoints to consider:
- It's generally not a great idea to have MUST NOT criteria that are not machine checkable; whether placeholder is being used a "an alternative to label" depends on intent and interpretation of the contents.
- This pattern appears to be pretty common and a MUST NOT seems

Also: You haven't explained why using a palceholder without any other label is insufficient. To make this concrete, consider the search box on <http://www.reddit.com>, which has a placeholder of "search reddit" and no other label. What concretely is the problem with this? There may be a reason this is bad, but you have not explained to the WG what it is.

Regards,
Maciej


On Feb 18, 2013, at 8:54 AM, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

> The HTML spec currently states [1]:
> 
> The placeholder attribute should not be used as an alternative to a label.
> 
> should this be tighened up to MUST NOT?
> 
> 
> I believe there are cases where having a label associated using the label element may not be required, but can't think of any cases where the placholder attribute text suffices as the only label for an input.
> 
> thoughts?
> 
> 
> 
> [1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/forms.html#the-placeholder-attribute
> -- 
> with regards
> 
> Steve Faulkner
> 
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 06:29:13 GMT

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