[whatwg] Re: Another alternative to select editable

Jim Ley jim.ley at gmail.com
Tue Jun 29 06:07:24 PDT 2004

On Tue, 29 Jun 2004 22:53:03 +1000, voracity <subs at voracity.org> wrote:
> Which is similar. However it either doesn't do anything that can't be done
> today, or more likely it changes the meaning of <fieldset> so that WF2 browsers
> have to parse the content to be equal to a <select editable>. (i.e. I'm not
> entirely sure what the DOM would look like.)

Inside your combo element, you'd still have to put the additional
explanatory text for the user for them to be able to understand this
combined element in the fallback situation.

The DOM does not change in either situation, all that happens is that
the children of the combo (or fieldset) element wouldn't be rendered)

> With <combo> (or something similar), the DOM would look exactly like it does for
> a single select and the syntax is cleanly related to the DOM.

So you'd throw away the child elements in a WF2 UA?

> Hmmm, I see. I think we have different ideas about how something like <select
> editable> would work. It _ought_ to search the list for a match.

That's slightly different behaviour, but it doesn't obviate the
inherent problem that most people won't be actually using just the
text entry system, they'll start using the mouse - watch a few folk.

> I can understand how it wouldn't be usable in many cases. However, in this
> (probably common) case, the list of clients is categorisable only by the letters
> that make up the client's name (all other categorisations would be less
> efficient). I suppose you could divide client's by letter, so that users have to
> choose  'B', then 'E', then 'E' for the client called 'beetle juice', but that
> just isn't practical --- and it's why we have keyboards :)

If the use knows the client is called beetle juice, don't give them
the chance to pick up their mouse, get them to type in "beetle j" and
hit search - you can optimise this search in the client if you want
(but the excessive download would often prevent this being sensible)

> Also, could you point me to some useful UI guides that discuss
> combos/autocompletes/etc. (I'm not a UI guru, I rely on intuition). I'd be
> interested to see how others tackle similar problems.

Er, they're dead tree, and not with my right now :-)

discusses a related thing (although doesn't seem to be as adamant)


shows up on a quick search of the likely online places.



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