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Re: [css3-ui]? Proposal for ::error pseudoelement

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 16:26:45 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0908251426p23dbbca8t3c2b618b8b1543ea@mail.gmail.com>
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Boris Zbarsky<bzbarsky@mit.edu> wrote:
> To be clear...  If you have ~5 inputs and they all fit on the screen at
> once, then showing the error messages next to the inputs is fine; the user
> clicks submit, sees the errors, changes the data, etc.
> If you have 300 inputs (lots of forms like that out there, in fact), or 2000
> (I've seen multiple bug reports on forms like _that_ as well), and they do
> validation, then having to scroll around looking for that one input where
> the error happened is a terrible user experience. For this setup,
> centralizing the error list in one place and focusing inputs (scrolling to
> them and highlighting them) when one of the errors is clicked is the only
> sane way to go.
> I would like browsers to be able to use whichever of the above two
> error-reporting modes they want, or even a combination depending on the
> number of inputs in the form...  Your proposal restricts the possible user
> interfaces such as to prevent the second mode.

You make some excellent points, so let me qualify my proposal a bit.

As a general principle, if the browser inserts UI into the page, it
should consider granting authors a way of styling it with CSS.

Opera's current behavior is definitely inserting UI into the page.
Your proposed alternate behavior, which is very reasonable, would
*not* insert UI into the page - it stays firmly in the browser side of
things.  Anne privately brought up a third possible display - an
unobtrusive icon inserted into the page which, when clicked/hovered,
brings up details on what's wrong with the element.  This one is
probably minimal enough that it's not necessary to provide
author-styling hooks, just like the grabber for <textarea> resizing
isn't available for author styling.

So, we probably want to wait a bit on even trying to standardize this
stuff until we see how users like their errors to be displayed.  For
now, since Opera wants to make their messages styleable, I suggest a
::-o-error pseudoelement.  Once more browsers implement WF2, we can
revisit this and see what sort of UI is common and whether it should
provide hooks.

Received on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 21:27:54 UTC

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