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RE: place-holding characters in edit/text boxes

From: Angela Hilton <angela.hilton@umist.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 09:03:38 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001101c32101$d17cb240$86645882@ANGEPC>

Did we not discuss the problems that not using them causes with
validating tools?

I don't recall what was concluded though.


Angela K Hilton
Web & E-Learning Officer
Tel: 0161 200 3389

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Scarlett Julian (ED)
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 08:51
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: place-holding characters in edit/text boxes

I think it has been covered on list since mid2001 and as I remember the
general consensus was that they are not necessary any more. To my mind
if the label element is used correctly and positioned next to the input
in the markup flow then there is no need. Indeed from experience the use
of placeholder characters not only reduces usability for people who are
'web-savvy' but also confuses those with either little experience of
computers or those with learning difficulties. 
Until user agents can handle the :focus pseudoclass properly and css
allows for background images for inputs I can't think of anyway of
gettign the placeholder characters to disappear without the use of
javascript or the user manually deleting. I never use them and don't
care if I don't get a Bobby award because of it. ;-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Sandra Vassallo [mailto:S.Vassallo@e-bility.com]
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 8:10 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: place-holding characters in edit/text boxes


I'm interested in people's experience/opinion re checkpoint 10.4

  'Until user agents handle empty controls correctly,
  include default, place-holding characters in edit
  boxes and text areas."

Is this still an issue for any screen readers (assuming the label
element is used)?

PS:  I know this same issue was discussed a couple of years ago (mid
2001) and from memory the concensus then was that place holder
characters were needed.  However I haven't seen a recent post on this
topic (sorry if I missed it) and from my own experience people who are
blind often find this confusing (I guess because it is not common
practice).  Also people with physical disabilities have difficulties
because they need to delete the text before entering the required
information, which is not always easy.



e-bility Pty Ltd

tel:    (02) 9810 2216
email: S.Vassallo@e-bility.com 
e-bility web:    http://www.e-bility.com <http://www.e-bility.com/>  
Received on Friday, 23 May 2003 04:03:42 UTC

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