Re: Proposal: "On Off" switch HTML forms Input Object

Scott E. Preece (
Mon, 1 Jul 1996 16:17:21 -0500

Date: Mon, 1 Jul 1996 16:17:21 -0500
From: (Scott E. Preece)
Message-Id: <>
In-Reply-To: Paul Robinson's message of Mon, 01 Jul 1996 10:35:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Proposal: "On Off" switch HTML forms Input Object

 From: Paul Robinson <>

| 	In the options available for Text and Graphical User Interfaces
|     and input forms under HTML, there are many different input objects,
|     otherwise known as "widgets", which are available including but not
|     limited to list, combo, and check boxes, and radio buttons.  One
|     particular type of selector is not present: the "on-off" switch.
|     This document proposes to rectify the situation by adding this
|     feature to HTML forms input.

Umm. It looks to me like what you're proposing is exactly a checkbox,
except for the visuals.  It might be more attractive to generalize this
by supporting author-specified visuals for the input elements.  This
might look like:


But, it would be nicer to get this added to the CSS1 attributes, so
you could use CLASS=ONOFF in your document and specify the selectors
once, in the stylesheet:

	CHECKBOX.ONOFF {checked-visual:	switched-on.gif;
			unchecked-visual: switched-off.gif}

However, it would also be nice to be able to do this for arbitrary sets
of values, so a SELECT could have a different visual for each of
its alternative values.  Doing that would require adding a VALUE
component to theCSS1 selector syntax:

	CHECKBOX.ONOFF=on {visual: switched-on.gif}

which would allow customizing the look of all INPUTs based on their
current value.  The specific syntax suggested there is the '=' followed
by a value meaning "when an element of the indicated type has the
value;" and with a class component allowed to precede the value

I like this idea, but in a world of constrained resources, I'd rather
see more kinds of form widgets, like RANGE (from HTML 3.0),
spin boxes, and file selectors.

[[My apologies if I am unconsciously repeating someone's previous
suggestion here; I have a deja vu feeling that I may have seen this
proposed before, butI can't place it.  If so, I would welcome a


scott preece
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