[whatwg] Proposal: Allow block content inside label element

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Tue May 8 15:38:48 PDT 2007

Kristof Zelechovski wrote:

>>From the behavioral point of view: The purpose of a LABEL control is to
> redirect focus on click.  It does not make much sense with a TEXTAREA
> control that is usually big enough to click upon.

That is not /the/ purpose of a LABEL element, but merely one way in
which user agents can use LABEL. Another use is for a screen reader to
label particular fields accurately, especially important when hopping
between fields.

>>From a semantic point of view: the TEXTAREA control is special because it
> does not make sense to ask whether the content of the TEXTAREA is or even
> contains some fixed text because the user may express the same meaning with
> different words; its content may be stored but you have to use advanced text
> analysis tools (such as a human reader) to process it if you need to.  You
> can use a label to define what you expect the user to enter into the
> control; the TEXTAREA control is so special that it seems obvious that it
> needs a caption or some introductory explanation, not a label (except for
> the labels "Your message" and "Your text", which are possible but not very
> informative indeed.)

Some uses of TEXTAREA are straightforward, some are complex. All benefit
from the addition of a LABEL.

It would probably help if we could associate short labels and longer
descriptions with form fields. It would certainly help if we could do so
with fieldsets:


Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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