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Re: Use of pre-compilated text-fields in forms

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 21:39:13 -0400
Message-Id: <E8C908B5-B36B-483D-A0E1-72053E977DB3@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>

I suggest that as long as there is braille, this problem will exist.   
I suggest further that it never be religated to the end of days till  
*all* issues with its removal are resolved lest we move backwards in  
accessibility istead of forwards.

On May 8, 2006, at 5:31 PM, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

Bailey, Bruce wrote:

> And suggests:
> <input name="textfield" type="text" value="word">
> Does this example actually work?  I thought default place holder  
> text was much harder than that?

It works, but can have usability issues...users need to first clear  
the placeholder value before entering their own text; this is easier  
by keyboard (which, when tabbing into the field, already preselects  
the entire existing value, allowing the user just to start typing and  
overwrite the placeholder) than mouse (where clicking on the input  
usually sets the cursor/caret, rather than selecting the current  
value). Of course, many people then use javascript to clear the input  
on focus (unless it contains anything other than the default  
value)...but it's not elegant.

> Is there anything wrong with *WCAG* requiring *optional* attributes?

Not per se. WCAG requires quite a few things that are optional (think  
for instance the lang attribute on the HTML root element itself to  
identify the primary language of the document). However, adding them  
can make it easier for certain user agents / users to understand the  
content and treat it appropriately.

> Does the above actually result in *invalid* code?  (I think that  
> was one of Laboo's concerns.)

It doesn't result in invalid code, no. Note, however, that the  
placeholder checkpoint is one of the "Until user agents..." ones.  
Older versions of certain browsers/AT (as well as, apparently, a few  
of even the current braillers) simply ignore(d) inputs without any  
placeholding text. This is obviously a bug/shortcoming in those user  
agents, which this checkpoint tried to aknowledge and compensate for.  
Apart from those braillers, though, current browsers/AT don't have a  
problem at all dealing with inputs lacking default values, so the  
checkpoint itself is pretty much irrelevant now (and in the current  
draft of WCAG 2.0, this type of requirement has gone, as mentioned in  
the last point of the table at the start of Appendix D: Comparison of  
WCAG 1.0 checkpoints to WCAG 2.0).

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Tuesday, 9 May 2006 01:39:22 UTC

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