[whatwg] input type="hidden" and validation

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 08:40:55 PDT 2008

On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 10:41 AM, Oldřich Vetešník <vetesnik at mrmil.cz>wrote:

> Hello,
> I'd like to throw a question out here, please don't shoot me if it's been
> already answered, I'm a full-time coder and don't have an internet at home
> so I can't make any deep researches in your archives.
> Q: Is it possible that hidden inputs don't have to be in a semantic tag?
> That is it passes the validation test without showing this error up:
> line 20 column 32 - Error: document type does not allow element "input"
> here; missing one of "p", "h1", "h2", "h3", "h4", "h5", "h6", "div", "pre",
> "address", "fieldset", "ins", "del" start-tag
> It's because hidden inputs aren't meant to be shown to the front-end user
> so it doesn't mean if it's not covered in a semantic tag. Sometimes it's
> O.K., you have a form with a few fieldsets so you can put it in one, but
> sometimes it's rather stupid having to do <div><input type="hidden"
> name="somename" value="somevalue" /></div> just to silence the validator.
> Thank you,
> Ollie

Big question here is, why is this necessary?  You only use hidden inputs in
a form.  If you have a form, you'll have other inputs (at least a <input
type=submit> or <button type=submit>), which *do* have to obey those
semantic limits, and thus will be wrapped in an appropriate tag.  Why can't
you just stuff your hidden inputs in there along with them?  The exact
location of a hidden input is of absolutely no consequence in any way
(except for it being in the appropriate <form>, of course), so you should
always have an appropriate place for them.

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