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RE: place-holding characters in form elements

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 07:17:22 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
cc: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0205230710230.11526-100000@tux.w3.org>
In fact the Checkpoint text is "Until user agents handle empty controls
correctly, include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text
areas".

In order to decide whether this is still required to meet triple-A
conformance it is important to have some idea of whether or not User Agents
handle empty controls correctly. Unfortunately here we have to decide for
ourselves unless and until the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines group
provides some criteria.

So until there is any better information, my understanding is that User
Agents do handle empty controls correctly, so not including default
place-holding characters does not violate this checkpoint any more. In some
cases it is obviously helpful to have a default, but I agree wuth Jukka that
having proper labels is the real solution to explaining what the form control
is for (and that is already required by a higher priority checkpoint).

cheers

chaals

On Thu, 23 May 2002, Jukka Korpela wrote:

  > If there is a difference between the two and I do not use
  > place-holding characters how can I achieve AAA accessibility?

  If you use initially empty input fields, you don't achieve AAA
  accessibility. One might say that you then need to decide between
  accessibility and compliance with some rules for accessibility. :-) For
  example, when asking for a person's name, there's no point in putting any
  initial value into the field _unless_ you have some information of what the
  user's name might be.
Received on Thursday, 23 May 2002 07:17:28 GMT

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