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RE: Is the <form> tag mandatory?

From: Andy Keyworth <akeyworth@tbase.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:03:27 +0000
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
CC: "Mohammad, Ashraf" <Ashraf.Mohammad@sabre.com>
Message-ID: <5fa75fb6232345eb9bd5dd055c23261d@MBX09A-IAD3.mex06.mlsrvr.com>
In auditing websites, I’ve noticed a real impact on screen reader usability when the <form>…</form> is absent. This has been most apparent on pages where there is a prominent form in the content which wraps using the “<form>” tags, but also a search box in the page header which does not do the same. In these cases, the search box function is noticeably less easy to find and use.

I would argue this can have an impact on whether the site can claim to meet WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion 2.4.5, “Multiple Ways”.

Andy Keyworth
Online Accessibility and Product Development Specialist
Certified ADA Coordinator
T-Base Communications
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From: chaals@yandex-team.ru [mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru]
Sent: October-27-16 12:44 PM
To: Christophe Strobbe; Steve Faulkner
Cc: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: Is the <form> tag mandatory?

Because you don't *need* a form tag to make it possible to fill in some input elements and send the data - assuming javascript is running properly, which is not always the case but happens most of the time.

You can't work out what is in the particular form being submitted if you don't have a form tag, but then you have to have a specialised browser extension or a particularly friendly developer who made that possible or you can't do that anyway in practice.

The point about the tags being mandatory is that if you want the DOM to record a form, you need both tags to go into the parser. Whereas for example you can leave out both the start and end tags for tbody or body and it will still create the elements…

27.10.2016, 18:37, "Christophe Strobbe" <strobbe@hdm-stuttgart.de<mailto:strobbe@hdm-stuttgart.de>>:
Hi Steve,

On 27/10/2016 17:56, Steve Faulkner wrote:

On 27 October 2016 at 16:42, Christophe Strobbe <strobbe@hdm-stuttgart.de<mailto:strobbe@hdm-stuttgart.de>> wrote:
According to the HTML5 specification, the both the start tag and the end
tag of the form element are mandatory:

Hi Christophe, they are not mandatory to use, but if you do have a start tag <form> you must have an end tag </form>

How does that rhyme with the statement "Neither tag is omissible." in the HTML5.0 specification?
(You can find the same statement about elements such as label, legend, textarea, header, footer, main, aside, section, nav and figure. For example, how would you know that something is a legend when there is neither a start tag nor an end tag?)
The omission of tags follows certain rules: <https://www.w3.org/TR/html5/syntax.html#optional-tags><https://www.w3.org/TR/html5/syntax.html#optional-tags>.

Best regards,


Ashraf, use of the form element is not a requirement for accessibility. If the interaction you have designed does not need a form element to function then that is fine.



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Christophe Strobbe

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Responsive Media Experience Research Group (REMEX)

Hochschule der Medien

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Falsely attributed to Christophe Lannister.

Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
chaals@yandex-team.ru<mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru> - - - Find more at http://yandex.com

Received on Thursday, 27 October 2016 17:04:02 UTC

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