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[Bug 12834] LEGEND should be allowed to NOT be exactly first child of FIELDSET ("The legend element" spec section)

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sun, 04 Dec 2011 20:22:32 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1RXIa0-0007fe-9p@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #21 from Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com> 2011-12-04 20:22:31 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #20)
> (In reply to comment #19)
> > It's not obvious to me that the only way to achieve the layout effects you
> > mention is to put the extra text inside fieldset
> Hm, text is not a _solution_ to something here. Texts in the testcases are
> means to illustrate spec shortcoming as for LEGEND. 

Since we don't particularly want to allow extraneous text before <legend>, I
fail to see how.

> CSS currently cannot generate wrappers. On the contrary, we can easily add
> wrappers in HTML _right now_. So some potential fixing of CSS in some potential
> future is not an equivalent option. Fixing HTML here does not need to implement
> _anything_ new in browsers -- it _already_ works and should be just documented
> to make pages formally valid.

The claim that it "_already_ works" seems plausible but would need to be
verified by demonstrating that <legend> elements wrapped in or preceded by
other elements are still correctly associated with their ancestor <fieldset>
elements when HTML documents are represented to the accessibility APIs used by
assistive technology and by current AT using those APIs or the DOM.

In the past, there have often been bugs in the plumbing that makes
accessibility work, even for markup that follows the standard. For example:


Also, just because something already works now does not mean it's the best
design long term.

> The bug itself is about fundamental theoretical issue: instead of requiring an
> element to be literally first direct child, it would be much smarter and
> practical to define it as "first descendant element [of specific type] in
> document tree order". 

With respect to simply _wrapping_ legend for the purpose of styling it, can you
please point to a design that you think cannot be implemented in HTML5 and CSS3
as currently proposed, rather than test cases that include extraneous text like
the ones you linked to?

You haven't given any rationale at all for allowing elements to precede rather
than enclose <legend>. If you're *not* proposing to place elements with text
before <legend> what do you want these preceding elements for? Why could you
not wrap the whole <fieldset> in a <div> and place those preliminary elements
outside the <fieldset>?

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Received on Sunday, 4 December 2011 20:22:34 UTC

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