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[whatwg] Placeholder option for text input boxes

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 18:25:20 +0100
Message-ID: <48E26100.6040704@googlemail.com>
Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> 2) @alt
>   Pro: Presumably accessible to people with screen readers.

Presumptions are risky.

Is there any evidence (by which I mean a test case and a description of 
how to reproduce behavior with real user agents) that demonstrates that 
this would be true for INPUT TYPE="TEXT"? I can imagine screen readers 
resorting to checking ALT to repair missing LABEL and TITLE; I'd be 
surprised if it were common behavior otherwise. Likewise I can imagine 
users being able to query for ALT, but this hardly seems like a natural 
interface for accessing placeholder text.

> 3) @title

[snip]

> Not accessible.

There are various accessibility problems @title in existing environments 
and user agents:

http://www.rnib.org.uk/wacblog/articles/too-much-accessibility/too-much-accessibility-title-attributes/

However, implementations could be improved, just as support for 
"placeholder" could be implemented.

> 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.

Is it? How is it /more/ semantic than "placeholder", which would 
precisely identify this text as a placeholder?

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:25:20 UTC

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