[whatwg] [WF2] Comments on sections 2.3 -- 2.5

Matthew Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Sun Jul 10 20:45:55 PDT 2005

Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> Controls with no default value specified are supposed to have no value
> selected.  At the same time, the widget types recommended for
> rendering the control (eg the clock recommended for time) do not lend
> themselves well to having no value selected.  They lend themselves
> even less to having a value unselected (the equivalent of a user
> clearing a text control completely), and it's not clear whether UAs
> may, should, must, should not, or must not allow form control values
> to be cleared by the user.


> There have been repeated bugs filed on Mozilla to support readonly on
> radio and checkbox inputs (authors want the inputs to be successful
> but not allow the user to modify the value).  This is not to say that
> Web Forms should allow this, necessarily, but it's worth
> considering....
> I'm not sure what the clause "the interface concept of 'readonly'
> values does not apply to button-like interfaces." means.

The problem here is the same: unlike text fields, the widget types used
for rendering "radio" and "checkbox" inputs -- radiobuttons and
checkboxes -- do not lend themselves to a readonly-but-submitted
appearance. Maybe they should; for example, installer programs sometimes
present lists with custom checkmark graphics to represent tasks they
have completed. But as long as this isn't a standard element in
operating system toolkits, people are unlikely to recognize any UA's
custom checkmark/radiomark graphic as being a form control that will be
submitted -- especially given the great variety of haphazard graphics
that appear in Web pages as opposed to local applications.

Matthew Thomas

More information about the whatwg mailing list