[whatwg] [WF3] The <altinput> Element
mattraymond at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 27 22:00:33 PDT 2005
The <altinput> element is intended to be a possible alternative to my
earlier <dataentry> element.
The <altinput> element is a way of accomplishing the same goals as
<dataentry> while ensuring that the size of a form's elements collection
and the position of controls within it doesn't change between legacy and
WF2 browsers. Rather than the element itself being a form control,
<altinput> instead performs the following:
* If it has a control with an |id| attribute equal to its |for|
attribute, then it attempts to assign its own |type| attribute value
to the |type| of the specified control.
* If the |type| is not supported, then the <altinput> acts as nothing
more than a <span>.
* However, if the |type| is supported, the control has its |type|
changed and the entire contents of the <altinput> element, with the
exception of specified control, are not be rendered.
The result is that, in most cases, <altinput> acts almost exactly
*** Examples ***
Here's a simple example for the three <select> scenario:
| <altinput for="d1" type="date" value="2005-02-09">
| <input type="hidden" id="d1" name="d1" />
| <select name="d1_day"><!-- Options --></select> /
| <select name="d1_month"><!-- Options --></select> /
| <select name="d1_year"><!-- Options --></select>
Here's an example for users of jscalendar:
| <altinput for="sel1" type="date">
| <input type="text" id="sel1" name="date1" size="30" />
| <input type="reset" value=" ... "
| onclick="return showCalendar('sel1', '%Y-%m-%d');">
*** Pros ***
2. The <altinput> element can allow for a far greater range of legacy
fallback than <input> alone.
3. Because the |type| is defined in an attribute, <altinput> can be
used for input types in later specifications, or for
vendor-specific input types.
4. Because the element requires a child form control, it encourages
the use of <input> alone in simple cases where legacy fallback
needs are minimal.
5. The element is designed only to prevent the presentation of its
child elements. It does not require user agents to delete contents
*** Cons ***
1. It's slightly more complicated to use than <dataentry>.
2. In some situations, you must use a hidden <input> control as the
target of the <altinput> element's |for| attribute.
3. It may still inherit some minor issues from <dataentry>.
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