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RE: place-holding characters in edit/text boxes

From: Scarlett Julian (ED) <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 08:50:34 +0100
Message-ID: <F9BE3B1AB649D311A573009027852E4D028798A0@EDUC_MXS>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
I think it has been covered on list since mid2001 and as I remember the general consensus was that they are not necessary any more. To my mind if the label element is used correctly and positioned next to the input in the markup flow then there is no need. Indeed from experience the use of placeholder characters not only reduces usability for people who are 'web-savvy' but also confuses those with either little experience of computers or those with learning difficulties. 
 
Until user agents can handle the :focus pseudoclass properly and css allows for background images for inputs I can't think of anyway of gettign the placeholder characters to disappear without the use of javascript or the user manually deleting. I never use them and don't care if I don't get a Bobby award because of it. ;-)
 
Julian
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Sandra Vassallo [mailto:S.Vassallo@e-bility.com]
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 8:10 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: place-holding characters in edit/text boxes


Hi,

I'm interested in people's experience/opinion re checkpoint 10.4

  'Until user agents handle empty controls correctly,
  include default, place-holding characters in edit
  boxes and text areas."

Is this still an issue for any screen readers (assuming the label element is used)?

PS:  I know this same issue was discussed a couple of years ago (mid 2001) and from memory the concensus then was that place holder characters were needed.  However I haven't seen a recent post on this topic (sorry if I missed it) and from my own experience people who are blind often find this confusing (I guess because it is not common practice).  Also people with physical disabilities have difficulties because they need to delete the text before entering the required information, which is not always easy.

Thanks,
Sandra.



...

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tel:    (02) 9810 2216
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Received on Friday, 23 May 2003 03:47:01 GMT

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