[whatwg] native styling for search input boxes

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Thu Oct 2 12:07:14 PDT 2008

On Oct 2, 2008, at 1:14 AM, Kristof Zelechovski wrote:

> I hoped to see an example of an actual semantic improvement of  
> introducing
> INPUT[type=SEARCH].  Maciej described a conceptual improvement for  
> the ideal
> world; in the real world, the developers will have to use the  
> heuristics
> anyway because there are search fields in the wild not marked as  
> such and
> most of them will remain that way of course.  Please describe how the
> potential presence of INPUT[type=SEARCH] will improve the user  
> experience
> (ignoring presentation) based on the assumption that the present  
> heuristics
> will be used anyway.

According to the Chrome developer who spoke up here, Chrome currently  
uses OpenSearch metadata. If many search fields used <input  
type="search">, then user agents could identify them without the need  
for OpenSearch metadata. I would imagine many smaller sites with a  
site-scope search box would not have such metadata but could easily  
adopt <input type="search">.


> Chris
> -----Original Message-----
> From: whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org
> [mailto:whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org] On Behalf Of Maciej  
> Stachowiak
> Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 2:10 AM
> To: Nils Dagsson Moskopp
> Cc: whatwg
> Subject: Re: [whatwg] native styling for search input boxes
>>> 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.

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