W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > October 2008

[whatwg] Placeholder option for text input boxes

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 18:34:31 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0810021634n42a6d875jf1e384e2a12dc492@mail.gmail.com>
On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 6:27 PM, Brenton Strine <Brenton.Strine at citrix.com>wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 11:36 AM, Andy Lyttle <whatwg at phroggy.com> wrote:
> [snip]
> > 4) <label> (moving label textual content into <input> as placeholder
> text; currently with Javascript to mutate the DOM, in the > future with CSS
> to present the desired appearance while keeping the DOM stable)
> >  Pro: Most semantic.
> [snip]
> That depends on what you are using it for. What if you are using it to
> apply a placeholder that says "(optional)"? That is not a label at all.
> There are a lot of uses for the proposed placeholder attribute that just
> don't fit into any of the other categories. I think a placeholder attribute
> would be great.

Hmm, true.  That's definitely a case where the text can't be argued to be a

Of course, it's still not in any way semantic.  The only difference between
"(optional)" being displayed near the input and being displayed *within* the
input is one of aesthetics.   The meaning of the document isn't changed one
iota.  This leans me even more toward a CSS solution.  I'll just bite the
bullet and bring it up to the CSS WG.

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