[whatwg] Context help in Web Forms

Charles McCathieNevile chaals at opera.com
Sat Jun 11 07:29:43 PDT 2005

On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 12:07:16 +0200, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Sat, 28 May 2005, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>> it would be helpful to have a way of including extra help, which may be
>> provided by a popup dialogue, mouseover, etc.
> The HTML4 "title" attribute provides this.
> At one point we considered having a second attribute with a URI, help="",
> similar to the XForms equivalent, for more detailed context-sensitive
> help. However, we got feedback from implementors and Web designers saying
> it wouldn't be that useful since it was not discoverable, and so it was
> removed.

Hang on, you mean the people who would implement the discovery mechanism  
said there won't be one, so they don't recommend it? I presume not, but  
that's how I keep reading this. Can you please clarify?

> In HTML5 it is likely that a rel="" value for the <a> element will be
> introduced which could be used to provide context-sensitive help while
> still having discoverability for the common case: the link would be
> visible in the markup, and the UA would be able to determine the closest
> matching such link (according to a given algorithm) when looking for  
> help.

I guess you were thinking "closest form control" or something.

"Nearness" seems in general like a really bad way to guess where the help  
is.  Do you mean closest in the markup, or in the laid-out rendering? If  
the link were required to be inside a label in order to be associated with  
a form control, that might make sense though.



Charles McCathieNevile                              chaals at opera.com
          hablo español - je parle français - jeg lærer norsk
   Here's one we prepared earlier:   http://www.opera.com/download

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