[whatwg] Suggestion: Implementation of Tabbed Forms
mattraymond at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 8 08:40:05 PDT 2004
> I don't see why you're calling these sections "mutually exclusive".
> The /presentation/ of each section excludes the presentation of other
> sections, but I've yet to see an example of how the sections are
> themselves mutually exclusive. As has been described before, degrading
> a set of preference panels into a long page of fieldsets makes just
> as much logical sense as the tabs, it's just less pleasant to look at.
> The one difference I see is that the tabs are "unordered" (i.e. they
> can degrade to a set of fieldsets arranged in any order without changing
> the meaning, like the items in an unordered list) whilst an actual page
> of fieldsets implies ordering (ordered list).
Before I discovered Dean Edwards' little namespace hack, I would
have agreed with you, but the problem is that <fieldset> and <legend>
elements are consistently styled across all browsers. Mozilla 1.7
ignores positional styling for <legend>. Internet Explorer allows the
background color to extend above the top border, and displays
OS-specific styling when no other styling is present, such as blue
labels and rounded borders. (The rounded borders disappear as soon as
you style either the border or the background. As for Opera, I'm not
sure why, but my test layout wasn't rendered correctly, even though I
used minimal CSS.
By contrast, unknown elements would be treated like <div> or <span>
elements, and the behaviors of those are far more consistent across
As it stands, it is easier to style an unknown element and a header
or label to look like a tab or fieldset than in is to make a fieldset
look like a tab. Therefore, it makes sense to come up with a
semantically based solution that doesn't offend semantic purists than it
does to come up with some system that alters the existing behavior of
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