[whatwg] Comments to Web Forms 2.0 downloaded 2004-09-18

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Tue Sep 21 01:57:44 PDT 2004

On 21 Sep, 2004, at 3:24 AM, Mattias Waldau wrote:
> ...
> It should be possible to use ENTER to navigate through fields (Major)
> All software except browser just Enter to jump to the next control. 
> For some reason web form uses tab only and Enter means submit.

Since the HTML spec doesn't require any particular behavior in that 
regard, if a UA on a particular platform isn't following the keyboard 
conventions for that platform, you should take that up with the UA 

But just out of interest, on what platform is this "all software" 
you're talking about? In all versions of Windows, Mac OS, Gnome and KDE 
that I've used, Tab goes to the next control and Enter submits a 

> ...
> AUTOCOMPLETE should apply to all input controls (Medium)
> It seems that autocomplete doesn't apply to radio buttons and 
> checkboxes, why? If I entered data and the browser remembers them, it 
> should remember all of them.

But autocomplete= isn't for allowing UAs to remember data for an 
element. Autocomplete= is for asking UAs *not* to remember data for an  
element (and is only implemented for those controls where banks 
threaten to throw their toys out of the pram and block the UA if it's 
not). There's nothing stopping UAs from remembering previously used 
values of option buttons and checkboxes -- except for its 
pointlessness, since (unlike text fields) choosing the correct value 
directly would be quicker than choosing it from an autocomplete menu. 
But again, since the HTML spec doesn't require any particular behavior 
in that regard, if a particular UA isn't behaving the way you want you 
should take that up with the UA vendor.

> ...
> Do OUTPUT-fields have a TABINDEX? (Minor)
> If not, they need to have it. If you have very long forms, and the 
> bottom part is a big presentation of calculated values, you need to be 
> able to scroll down. The best way is to set a tabstop and one of the 
> OUTPUT-controls.
> ...

That problem isn't unique to pages with <output> elements. It would 
also exist for pages with, for example, long terms-of-use agreements 
above their "I Accept" button. So that would be better solved by a more 
general solution, such as (for example) the Escape key removing focus 
from any form control so that the arrow keys could work for scrolling 
the page. Again, that's the business of the UA vendor, not any markup 
language specification.

Matthew Thomas

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