[whatwg] [WF2] Objection to autocomplete Attribute
lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Wed Mar 23 06:50:11 PST 2005
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Mar 2005, Matthew Raymond wrote:
>>Actually, now that I think about it, why do we need to have a spec
>>saying that it's not depreciated or that it should be non-trivial to
>>deactivate if the banks are going to blackmail UAs to support it?
> Because to be useful, specs have to be realistic.
Yes, they should be realistic in documenting what markup should and
should not be supported, but the spec is crossing the line by dictating
what options should and should not be trivially accessible in a user
agent. I recommend at least moving that statement to the note at the
end of the section, perhaps changing it to something like this:
# A UA may allow the user to disable support for this attribute. Support
# for the attribute *should* be enabled by default, as there are
# significant security implications for the user if support for this
# attribute is disabled.
(Note: the *should* in the second sentence above has been changed from
*must*, for the same reason that specs must not dictate user-hostile
behaviour, and to allow for any user agent vendor to correctly decide to
disable support by default (as *there are valid reasons* to do so) and
not violate this specification as a result.)
And the note below could become:
# Note: In practice, this attribute is required by many banking
# institutions, who insist that UAs with auto-complete features
# implement it before supporting them on their Web sites. For this
# reason, it has been implemented by most major Web browsers for many
# years and it is advised that the ability to disable support should not
# be trivially accessible.
Although I still recommend leaving out the statement about disabling
support and strongly object to the inclusion of autocomplete, it seems
I've already been overruled for those request, so I'm willing to compromise.
However, I would like to point out that user agents that don't allow the
user to override autocomplete, are in direct violation of the User Agent
Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, Guideline 5 :
| Guideline 5. Ensure user control of user interface behavior
| Ensure that the user can control the behavior of viewports and user
| interface controls, including those that may be manipulated by the
| author (e.g., through scripts).
Although the remainder of the guideline mainly discusses the viewport, a
form field is still a user interface control , and thus I believe
this guideline applies.
In a previous post, Ian Hickson also wrote:
> Deprecating the feature would indicate that there is a chance the feature
> will be dropped in a future version, which there isn't.
Why isn't there a chance it will be removed? I accept it being included
as a way to document what UAs should support, but not as an attribute
that authors should ever use; and I hope, if this spec is ever accepted
by the W3C or other standards organistion, that it is removed before it
becomes anything official.
Those of us that often contribute to peer support forums, newsgroups,
mailing lists, etc. for authoring HTML, have enough difficulty
convincing some authors (newbies) to not use other user hostile
extensions, such as disabling IE's image toolbar, Smart Tags (with the
proprietary meta element values, though smart tags were never
implemented in IE anyway), Google's AutoLink, controlling window sizes,
status bars, toolbars, disabling context menus, etc. Do you realise how
difficult it is going to become, and thus how much more innaccessible
the web will become, if such authors find that this attribute is
approved by a standards organistion?
> It would also make any site using the feature non-conformant,
So what? Any site using it now is non-conformant, what difference does
> which is pointless: the sites are going to use these features regardless, why
> make people have to violate the spec to do so.
Then why is the size attribute deprecated now? Sites are going to use
it regardless of the ability to specify such details using stylesheets,
just like people continue to use <font>, <b>, etc, why make people have
to violate the spec to do so?
The point is: "Documents must not use deprecated features. User agents
should support deprecated features." That statement, from appendix C,
applies to both the size and autocomplete attributes equally, so please
http://GetFirefox.com/ Rediscover the Web
http://GetThunderbird.com/ Reclaim your Inbox
More information about the whatwg