[whatwg] Errormessages in forms

Oldřich Vetešník vetesnik at mrmil.cz
Tue Nov 11 03:38:08 PST 2008

Dne Mon, 10 Nov 2008 21:50:37 +0100 Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> napsal/-a:

>> <label for="idfield">Instructions</label>
>> <input name="idfield" id="idfield">
>> <hint for="idfield">Type in dd-mm-yyyy format</hint>
>> <error for="idfield">Must be a valid value</error> (if error is true)
> This seems excessively complicated and I'm not convinced there is really  
> a problem to solve here. Just using plain text seems enough.

Indeed it seems enough. Although this kind of solution could improve  
Screen Readers' abilities to effectively interpret forms.

It could be finally clear how to code it right for both web developers and  
Screen Reader developers how (& what) to implement (I'm guessing here, I  
don't know how difficult it would be to implement such behavior).  
Nowadays, all kinds of hints & errors are outside the label element thus  
sreen readers don't read them out. That's bad. This could improve the  
forms & feedback accessibility in general.

I'm not saying this is the best solution, if you have another, please  
share. I'm proposing those changes because current situation is horrible  
and nobody really knows how to code it right.

An example: I'm sort of disgussed when I see how Zend Framework implements  
default form element wrapper-tags: dt's for labels, dd's for inputs and ul  
li's for errors. I think form elements (labels, inputs...) are not meant  
to be used in a definition list (because they aren't), errors (mostly  
one-line) are not meant to be in a list. Such abuse of html! Yes of course  
everyone does it differently, but I think people tend to do those kind of  
"evil" things when they don't have enough semantic tags to use. Just like  
<figure> solves those captionized pulled images - and replacing floated  
tables, divs or paragraphs - this could solve the  
how-the-heck-do-I-make-a-correctly-coded-and-accessible-form situation.

If I'm mistaken again, or this issue has been already discussed, I apology  
for wasting your time. :)
Take care,

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