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Re: Using a table to structure a form

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 07:50:01 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200207220650.g6M6o1T02465@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

[ wrapping repaired ]
> The problem is that radio buttons and checkboxes require fieldset and
* legend tags, but when I use this, the default presentation is usually

There is a subtle assumption here that fieldset is an accessibility
feature, for non-visual users; I would say its origins are actually
usability, for visual users.  It first appeared in native GUIs, not in
browsers.  People voluntarily use it when designing native applications
in Visual Basic.

* a border surrounding the grouped elements and the legend appears in the
* border.  Through use of styles I managed to get the legend to appear to
* the left of my form elements like all my other labels were positioned,

There are various features that are not fully under control of CSS, even
in the big 2 (you should not assume that CSS has any control at all, in
general, as, unlike PDF, HTML is not a presentational language).  Fieldset
and label are one and input controls are another.  Both typically get 
rendered in the natural way for the host GUI (although some recent browsers
have re-implemented these functions).

* but unfortunately this is extremely buggy in various browsers.  The only
* options I really had left was:

I doubt that any attempt to hack the presentation of fieldset can be 
considered buggy, as I don't think that there is any reasonable 
expectation that CSS could provide reasonable control.

Any non-default presentation compromises usability (and accessibility
to anyone afraid of computers or with difficulties in learning) as they
have to effectively reverse engineer the new idiom before they can 
understand it.  (This possibly applies more to links than button
groupings.)
Received on Monday, 22 July 2002 02:50:31 GMT

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