W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2010

Re: Fieldset disabled attribute and descendants

From: Philip Taylor <pjt47@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 19:46:31 +0000
Message-ID: <4B4E2317.3010704@cam.ac.uk>
To: Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Adrian Bateman wrote:
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#the-fieldset-element
> [...]
> Is there a reason why the disabled attribute shouldn't also disable
> controls that are descendants of the first legend element? See the
> attached test case.
> It appears that IE and Opera disable both controls inside and outside
> the <legend> whereas Firefox, Safari, and Chrome disable neither. Our
> preference would be to remove the clause "excluding those that are
> descendants of the fieldset element's first legend element child"
> from the spec.


Looks like the reasoning is that since nobody has reported that the 
behaviour is important for compatibility (if it was then the browsers 
would presumably have converged already), the behaviour should instead 
be chosen to maximise its usefulness for authors, and the example given 
in the spec is useful and so that's what the spec allows.

Are there any known compatibility issues here? And are there examples 
where the spec's behaviour is less useful for authors than the alternatives?

(In a real site I've written something that's quite similar to the 
spec's example, with a checkbox in the legend to enable/disable the 
fieldset's contents, except I did it by hiding the content with CSS (to 
save screen space) instead of disabling the form controls. I suppose it 
would be good to hide the content *and* disable the controls when 
they're meant to be inactive, so the example is not too hypothetical.)

Philip Taylor
Received on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 19:47:00 UTC

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