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[whatwg] Proposal for autocompletetype Attribute in HTML5 Specification

From: Ilya Sherman <isherman@chromium.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:01:25 -0800
Message-ID: <CAA3nRaiAoYZYh0VnyU-1EppsLRTGrtS1i4XMqQD6GFg6KYDAFw@mail.gmail.com>
On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 1:17 PM, Ilya Sherman <isherman at chromium.org> wrote:

> Current autofill products rely on contextual clues to determine the type
> of data that should be filled into form elements. Examples of these
> contextual clues include the name of the input element, the text
> surrounding it, and placeholder text.
>
> We have discussed the shortcomings of these ad hoc approaches with
> developers of several autofill products, and all have been interested in a
> solution that would let website authors classify their form fields
> themselves. While current methods of field classification work in general,
> for many cases they are unreliable or ambiguous due to the many variations
> and conventions used by web developers when creating their forms:
>
>   + Ambiguity: Fields named "name" can mean a variety of things, including
> given name, surname, full name, username, or others. Similar confusion can
> occur among other fields, such as email address and street address.
>
>   + Internationalization: Recognizing field names and context clues for
> all the world?s languages is impractical, time-intensive, and error-prone
> (as good context clues in one language may mean something else in another
> language)
>
>   + Unrelated Naming: Due to backend requirements (such as a framework
> that a developer is working within), developers may be constrained in what
> they can name their fields. As such, the name of a field may be unrelated
> from the data it contains.
>
>
> We believe that website authors have strong incentive to facilitate
> autofill on their forms to help convert users in purchase and registration
> flows. Additionally, this assists users by streamlining their experience.
>
> To that end we would like to propose adding an autocompletetype attribute
> [1] to the HTML5 specification, as a complement to the existing
> autocomplete attribute that would eliminate ambiguity from the process of
> determining input data types.  We developed this initial draft proposal
> working together with developers or several autofill products, and are now
> looking forward to feedback and suggestions from the broader community.
> [1] http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Autocompletetype
>
> Thanks,
> ~Ilya Sherman, Chromium Autofill Developer
>

Copying from the "autocompletetype vs autocomplete, type attributes" thread:

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 5:03 AM, Kornel Lesi?ski <kornel at geekhood.net>
wrote:

> How about merging autocompletetype with autocomplete then?
>
> It looks sensible to me:
>
> <input autocomplete=off> <input autocomplete=email>
>
> In case of <form autocomplete=off><input autocomplete=email></form> I'd
> expect autocomplete=email to override form's "off" value.


I actually like this idea a lot.  We had previously chosen not to extend
the autocomplete attribute because we were worried about backward
compatibility.  In particular, we were worried that existing user agents
might interpret <input type="text" autocomplete="bogus"> -- and hence also
<input type="text" autocomplete="email"> -- to be equivalent to <input
type="text" autocomplete="off">.  However, I just checked with IE, Chrome,
Firefox, Safari, and Opera -- all simply ignore autocomplete="bogus".  So,
we seem to be ok in terms of backward compatibility -- hooray!

If I don't see any objections over the next few days, I'll go ahead and
update the proposal to extend the autocomplete attribute rather than
introducing the additional autocompletetype attribute.
Received on Thursday, 26 January 2012 15:01:25 UTC

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