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Action item: HTML5 forms

From: Henny Swan <hennys@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:57:08 +0100
Message-Id: <68C700CA-03C3-48F5-BB76-691F126218C8@opera.com>
To: UAWG list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Henny note: Overall the proposal to allow unscripted client-server  
interaction thereby taking the onerous off the page author and into  
the browser is a huge benefit to accessibility. This means that  
validating forms, checking input and so on will be customized across  
sites with no reliance on JavaScript. Designers will not have to build  
form validation from the ground up each time and users can enjoy some  
consistency, less breakage and so on.

HTML section: 4.10 Forms

url: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/forms.html#forms


1. Form validation

Under form validation there is no stipulation that validation errors  
should be stylable by the page author using CSS and are currently only  
available as per how the UA styles them unless the page author knows  
JavaScript.  This I see as an issue if browsers simply implement an  
arbitrary styling that some users find hard to read. As such there  
needs to be scope for validation errors to be stylable (without  
relying on JavaScript) or browser implementations to be as readable /  
accessible as possible (the latter being pretty subjective).

My other fear is that if forms validation can not be styled without  
JavaScript page authors may skip using HTML5 webform validation as it  
messes up their design. We then get to a situation where we have  
developers refusing to adopt webforms in HTML5 in favour of their own  
styled forms which potentially could be inaccessble. Users in turn  
miss out.

Anecdotally I know of a web designer who works predominantly with  
users with cognitive problems and wont use webforms if they can't  
easily be styled without JavaScript.

Proposal for change: require that all error validation be stylable by  
the page author without relying on JavaScript. Not sure if this is in  
scope of HTML5 or is under UAAG. I'm told this is not so easy for a UA  
to do and that if we want to make the default error messages  
styleable, we would need to approach the CSSWG with the problem and  
have them find a solution to make them styleable.  Apparently it could  
possibly work if they provided some sort of pseudo-element.

UAWG related issue/concern: Do we have a UAAG guideline to enforce  
this / should it be covered in HTML5? Is it the case that UAAG can  
only say that the messages themselves need to be accessible, but can't  
say anything about making them author-styleable?

2. Date pickers

Date pickers should be both keyboard accessible and able to be  
magnified in the browser. I think this is beyond the scope of HTML5  
itself and covered in UAAG but mention it just to clarify.

Proposal for change:

UAWG related issue/concern: This should be covered in UAAG for  
keyboard accessibility I'm guessing.

Cheers, Henny
Henny Swan
Web Evangelist
Member of W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Education and Outreach Group

Personal blog: www.iheni.com

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Received on Thursday, 27 August 2009 09:58:47 UTC

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