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

Re: use of placeholder as a label for an input

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:44:33 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+V=8UUDKpTDg-oCXniFxYECKB0FU_hWWz2=yT_jMkpD=8w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: tink@tink.co.uk, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Maciej,

you wrote:

I see your point about memory related conditions. And I agree that
> placeholders-only is generally poor form in a complex form. But I think
> placing a MUST NOT on an issue that ultimately comes down to visual design
> is not likely to work well. I think it's more effective to give authors
> advice about what designs usually work better and how to make a wide range
> of designs accessible.
>

agreed


regards

SteveF

On 19 February 2013 09:00, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:

>
> On Feb 19, 2013, at 12:50 AM, Léonie Watson <tink@tink.co.uk> wrote:
>
> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:****
>
> “Also: You haven't explained why using a palceholder without any other
> label is insufficient.”****
>
> ** **
>
> The general problem is that if the placeholder is not supported/available,
> there is no sensible way for a screen reader user to identify the purpose
> of the field.****
>
> ** **
>
> If the field is part of a simple form (like a search), it’s manageable. If
> it’s a complex form with multiple fields it’s next to impossible to
> complete the form without knowing what should be entered into each field.*
> ***
>
> ** **
>
> Right now an associated label is the only robust (backwards compatible)
> way to make this information available. Strictly speaking the label doesn’t
> have to be visible, but keeping it visible makes the field easier for
> people with memory related conditions to remember the purpose of the field
> (once the placeholder has been overwritten).
>
>
> What I'm expecting is that browsers that don't support "placeholder" will
> not support it in the visual rendering either. Therefore, authors targeting
> such browsers will need to use some fallback solution such as a scripted
> polyfill. In that case it makes sense to add a label via aria-label or an
> invisible <label> element, if a visible label is not appropriate.
>
> I see your point about memory related conditions. And I agree that
> placeholders-only is generally poor form in a complex form. But I think
> placing a MUST NOT on an issue that ultimately comes down to visual design
> is not likely to work well. I think it's more effective to give authors
> advice about what designs usually work better and how to make a wide range
> of designs accessible.
>
> Cheers,
> Maciej
>
>
> ****
>
> ** **
>
> HTH.****
>
> Léonie.****
>
> ** **
>
>
>
> *From:* Maciej Stachowiak [mailto:mjs@apple.com <mjs@apple.com>]
> *Sent:* 19 February 2013 06:29
> *To:* Steven Faulkner
> *Cc:* HTMLWG WG
> *Subject:* Re: use of placeholder as a label for an input****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> <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
>
> <http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html>****
>
> ** **
>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 09:45:46 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 February 2013 09:45:46 GMT