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Re: Nielsen's Latest Alertbox & a personal protest

From: <tina@greytower.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 22:32:45 +0100 (CET)
Message-Id: <200311112132.hABLWjOI027898@asterix.andreasen.se>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On 11 Nov, David Woolley wrote:

>>   Of course there is - there is no logic that states the INPUT with type
>>   "submit" is related to that other INPUT with type "text" unless it is
>>   explicitly labeled - using LABEL.
> 
> That's what fieldset and legend are for.

  We are discussing two different things. This:

   <form action="...">
    <fieldset>
      <legend>Search form</legend>
      <input type="text" name="regexp">
      <input type="submit" name="Jabberwocky">
    </fieldset>
   </form>

  makes no more sense than if you leave out the fieldset and legend. In
  the above example, all an UA can tell you is that the input of type
  submit will send the data written in the input of type text to
  whatever is specified in the form's action.

  However: it can NOT tell the user WHAT is supposed to go into that
  form field. It can, to be picky, not tell the user anything about that
  text control at all. There is simply no information.

  The HTML specification isn't that foggy: 

    LABEL    - this tells the user what goes into the form control,
    FIELDSET - this tells the user which controls belong together,
    LEGEND   - explains what the above group is all about.

  The label goes on the input of type text so that the UA can tell the
  user what that input is all about. Whether the code looks like the
  above, or like this:


   <form action="...">
    <fieldset>
      <legend>Search form</legend>
      <input type="text" name="regexp">
      <input type="submit" name="Search">
    </fieldset>
   </form>

  makes no difference. Let's imagine a voice-based UA:

   "This group of form controls are used to search the site for
   information. This first field should be filled with a text for the
   purpose of (Sorry. The author didn't tell me what this field is for).
   Finally we have the 'Search' submit button."

  Mr. Nielsen finds this sufficient for the user - lacking the
  information a clear and unambigious label would provide - to guess.

  I strongly disagree; but then I've not written books on the topic >:)
  
-- 
 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
   tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/
   [+46] 0708 557 905
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2003 16:32:53 GMT

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