[whatwg] Suggestion: Implementation of Tabbed Forms

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Tue Jul 13 05:42:34 PDT 2004

On 13 Jul, 2004, at 9:40 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, fantasai wrote:
>> 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.
> The example I originally had in mind when proposing the concept of 
> mutually exclusive sections was that of a game which had three 
> "screens", the first is a login page, the second is a game board view, 
> and the third is a high scores view. The three are mutually exclusive.

A login page and a game board view would be mutually exclusive, but 
that's not an example that could be presented as tabs, because 
preventing people from navigating between tabs just by clicking on them 
is verboten.

Conversely, you could present the game board and the high scores page 
as tabs, but they're not intrinsically mutually exclusive, because you 
could present them another way that allowed them to be visible 
simultaneously (as Minesweeper does, for example).

In other words, Fantasai's right. That two things are shown in 
different tabs does not make them mutually exclusive; and  that two 
things are mutually exclusive makes tabs an inappropriate way to 
present them.

> I've seen wizard interfaces where the views are mutually exclusive too.
> ...

Assistant or "wizard" interfaces are more to do with dependency than 
mutual exclusivity. The existence of, and questions asked in, each page 
are highly dependent on what was entered in the previous pages. If 
that's not the case, you're just wasting people's time by making them 
flip through pages, and you should be using a dialog (with FIELDSETs, 
or tabs, or whatever) instead.

Matthew Thomas

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