[whatwg] Pattern Hint

Dean Edwards dean at edwards.name
Thu Aug 4 07:44:07 PDT 2005

Matthew Raymond wrote:
> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>>Dean Edwards wrote:
>>>fantasai wrote:
>>>>Dean Edwards wrote:
>>>That is not enough. I wouldn't put something so complex in a tooltip. It 
>>>would frighten my users.
>>What could be so complex that would frighten users when used in a title 
>>attribute, yet wouldn't have the same effect when used in some kind of 
>>pattern hint attribute, regardless of how it's displayed to the user?
>    Wouldn't it be difficult for someone to type while viewing the
> tooltip? When I try it in Firefox, the tooltip disappears as soon as I
> start typing. Unless the user is being presented with a localized
> control that displays the output in the pattern they're accustomed to,
> the web developer is going to need to make the hint viewable continuously.

That's my thinking. I'm also concerned about pattern mismatches. If a 
form is invalid the UA is supposed to feed back information to help the 
user complete the form.


For most types, pattern mismatches are easy to explain to the user - 
"Please enter a valid time (format HH:MM:SS).". For a complex pattern 
this is more difficult. The UA can't assume that the "title" attribute 
is going to help in this situation so must fall back to a generic 
"Pattern mismatch".

My concern is one of usability. We have provided a mechanism for 
entering complex patterns, we should also provide a mechanism for 
helping end-users enter these patterns.


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