[whatwg] Placeholder option for text input boxes

timeless timeless at gmail.com
Sat Oct 4 15:38:10 PDT 2008

On 10/3/08, Adrian Sutton <adrian.sutton at ephox.com> wrote:
>  Placeholder ... aids usability

having recently fought with some javascript which tried to enhance my
ability to enter text ('crash' in a keyword chooser using nokia's
webkit based browser on my phone), I'd like to remind people that
someone's "usability" aid is someone else's nightmare. the problem
there didn't need solving as the browsers we have either support
remembering text-input or have keyboard support or are so slow that
the chooser hangs them....

i use quite a few browsers where javascript is disabled and in many of
them, clearing a text field is extremely painful (especially the phone

my devices aren't powerful enough to support true accessibility
features, but in some ways they want them- especially to turn off all
of these glitzy web "features" which significantly impede my ability
to get work done.

sometimes enabling a designer to do something is the wrong decision.
google and skype both can convert all numbers they see into very
annoying and generally incorrect tel: links. skype's toolbar can
thankfully be disabled, however the gmail mobile one can't be, which
means I'm stuck with unusable (and unreadable) content.

placeholders are interesting, but will the resources required to
support them be better than telling designers just to make their
label's clearer?

for my devices, I'm going to need a way to disable them and something
tells me that even if  we were to standardize on a way to present
placeholders, I'll still be unable to suppress many implemented in

- this complaint was composed using an n800 because symbian brutally
killed my gmail client and the web browser.

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