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Updating specs and tools Re: place-holding characters in edit/text boxes

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 10:24:26 +1000
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: carl.myhill@ps.ge.com
Message-Id: <F9E9E484-DDA4-11D7-8C10-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

Indeed the WCAG rule (along with the entire spec) is being updated. As 
it happens the rule that it cites (checkpoint 10.4 - 
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/wai-pageauth.html#tech-place-holders for 
details) says "Until user agents handle empty controls correctly, 
include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text areas".

So what is most important from that perspective is to know if there are 
user agents that don't handle empty form controls correctly. 
Unfortunately there is no current determination on that from the WCAG 
group. My personal take is that having asked often for some real user 
agent (or combination) that doesn't do this, and failed to come up with 
one, I feel it is reasonable to conclude that this checkpoint's "until 
user agent" condition has been satisfied, and there is no longer a need 
to worry about it.

As for tools being up to date, that's why I keep an eye on a couple at 
a time, and switch whenever I feel like it. And a tool-based 
conformance claim never carries much weight - either it was manually 
tested afterwards, in which case the person should make a claim, or it 
wasn't, in which case the person who ran the test didn't do it 
according to the basic instructions of the tool and therefore the 
results are flawed by operator error and unreliable.



On Wednesday, Sep 3, 2003, at 00:47 Australia/Sydney, 
carl.myhill@ps.ge.com wrote:

> I was just talking about this last night with the guy from
> www.diveintoaccessibility.org . He confessed he cheats on this - 
> putting a
> space in the search box. By cheating his site validates at bobby AAA 
> and
> mine, by not cheating validates at bobby AA.
> Sounds a bit silly that. I didn't put a string in there because I 
> thought it
> would be more likely to get in the way.  If this really isnt needed 
> any more
> perhaps bobby (and the associated WAI rule it cites) needs an update?
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Tuesday, 2 September 2003 20:25:02 UTC

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