[whatwg] native styling for search input boxes

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Wed Oct 1 17:09:35 PDT 2008

On Oct 1, 2008, at 10:14 AM, Nils Dagsson Moskopp wrote:

> Am Mittwoch, den 01.10.2008, 09:58 -0700 schrieb Maciej Stachowiak:
>> On Oct 1, 2008, at 12:31 AM, Nils Dagsson Moskopp wrote:
>>> the look of the input field could be styled just by a value of
>>> "search"
>>> for the CSS "appearance". that would have to go through CSS3 WG, but
>>> would probabvy be the cleanest approach.
>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-ui/#system
>>> (i hope this puts an end to input styling discussions)
>> The status of being a search field is semantic, not just
>> presentational.
> 100% agree. But the status of /looking like an OS native widget/ is
> purely presentational and CSS 3 has a fitting property for that.
> Semantics and presentation can and IMO should be decoupled.

There is behavior as well as appearance involved. It differs from  
<input type="text"> in much the same way that <input type="password">  

>> User agents and assistive technologies could use the
>> knowledge that a field is a search field in all sorts of helpful  
>> ways.
> What exactly were you imagining ? In the end, it's a text field like  
> any
> other.

For example, Chrome will keep track of search fields that the user has  
used on various pages. I assume they currently use a heuristic, this  
would be a clear signal of search-fieldness. (I do not speak for the  
Chrome team here and I do not know if they would want to use it.

>> Indeed, the semantics would be useful even without the special
>> presentation, but the special presentation gives authors an extra
>> incentive to get it right.
> If "giving authors in extra incentive to get it right" was the scope  
> of
> any spec discussed here, SGML serializations would not exist and
> validators would give out free candy.

On the contrary, features of HTML5 like <meter> and <time> exist to  
give authors an extra incentive to get it right.


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