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Filtering Default Text in Forms

From: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2004 09:52:59 +0930
Message-ID: <40E89F63.3030703@kbc.net.au>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hi All

I have never been a great fan of having "place marking" text in form fields due 
to the large number of users who put their input after this text, rather than 
replacing it (approximately one in four on some feedback forms I have seen).

Removing the default text during form processing using a regular expression is a 
possibility, but there is always the chance that the default text may need to 
occur in the input.

One possible solution that I can see is to have default text forming a pattern 
that would not be used as input.  For example:
"search for these words" may be valid input whereas
"search_for_these_words", separated using underscores, would be far safer.

It would then be a simple matter to filter the pattern out (Perl example):
$search_words=~s/search_for_these_words//g;

I can, however, see a problem here.  How would an audio device render my 
underscores?  Is there a "safe" character that I can use to replace the space 
for this technique?

Cheers

M

-- 
Matthew Smith
Kadina Business Consultancy
South Australia
Received on Sunday, 4 July 2004 20:23:04 UTC

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