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RE: place-holding characters in form elements

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 12:01:54 +0100 (BST)
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20020523114825.K815-100000@fenris.webthing.com>
On Thu, 23 May 2002, Jukka Korpela wrote:

> > place-holding characters.
>
> (You mean Guideline 10.4. (It is at priority level 3.))
>
> > This is causing us some grief
>
> Many people share your opinions and views.

Myself included, FWIW.  IMNSHO, guidelines should always steer well
clear of advocating anything likely to be harmful (e.g. confusing)
either

> My advice is: Don't use place-holding characters. (They are sometimes
> claimed to give information about the kind of data that is expected, but any
> need for such hints is caused by lack of adequate explanations and labels
> before the fields.)

Agreed.

A technique I occasionally use is to populate a field with a help
string, and use an onfocus event to clear it the first time the
field gets focus.  But whether that is a good idea is more a matter
of usability than accessibility.

<input name="date" value="YYYY-MM-DD" onfocus="value=''">

shouldn't be too confusing, but can never be more than an ad-hoc usage.

-- 
Nick Kew

Available for contract work - Programming, Unix, Networking, Markup, etc.
Received on Thursday, 23 May 2002 13:05:15 GMT

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