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User understanding of what will be submitted by SUBMIT

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 21:44:15 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-forms-editor@w3.org
Cc: wai-liaison@w3.org

[The Forms WG requested more information on this point from the PF Working Group.
This is what the group came up with.

Charles McCN
Al Gilman

/for W3C/WAI/PF  ]

The problem:

Users need to know, when they are submitting a form, what information they
are submitting.

This is especially important when a page contains several forms.  In this 
case it can be unclear which field values are associated with a given submit 
or clear action. This can arise in HTML, where the submit element is not the 
last control. For users with disabilities, the authors' expected visual or 
audio presentation may not be the way they receive the form, and may not 
necessarily provide sufficient information.

Xforms currently makes it very easy to embed several forms in the same
document, but does not provide any guidance to users of the specification
suggesting that end users may need a way to identify which questions they are
answering in submitting a form.

The PF group has discussed several possible approaches:

1. Requiring an explicit reference from each form control to the model that
it is associated with. The principle is that this provides unambiguous
information in the DOM that assistive technologies (and simple adaptation
techniques) can access. See for example

2. Requiring an explicit container for a form, as in HTML, that does not
allow other forms to be contained. The principle is that this makes it very
easy to identify the things that are being submitted - not requiring real DOM
processing. The original proposal was made (Member only - need permission to
make it public) in the PF meeting of 19 June 2002 - see logs at

3. Placing a conformance requirement on User Agents that they offer the
possibility of reviewing what information is being provided in a given form,
and to "confirm or cancel" the submission. See "doing more" point 3 at


See also (Member Only)
Received on Saturday, 22 June 2002 21:44:34 UTC

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