[whatwg] [WF2] <select required>
whatwg at phroggy.com
Thu Oct 23 22:37:58 PDT 2008
On Oct 23, 2008, at 12:19 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> Ultimately the display of the hint is, and should be, up to the UA,
> so that non-full-featured devices can display things in a maximally
> helpful way to the user. Within the context of a standard browser
> on an ordinary computer, though, the correct display seems
> relatively clear. When the select is collapsed, the hint should
> show until the user selects something. After the user selects
> something, the hint will never again display in the collapsed
> state. I'm not sure if it's necessary for the hint to display in
> the expanded state. If it is, though, then it should always be the
> first item in the list, and it should be nonselectable, similar to
> how column groups display currently.
1) If the user clicks to open the menu, then clicks away or presses
Esc without making a selection, does that count as a selection for
purposes of making the placeholder not appear again?
2) If the user never selects something, they'll never see anything
but the placeholder. That means they won't see the text associated
with whatever option is selected by default. In many cases, the
default option will be some sort of blank* value to indicate that the
user has not made a selection; the current practice serves both
purposes at the same time (having a blank value to indicate no
selection, and setting the text of that option to a placeholder/
hint). A placeholder option would replace one of these purposes, but
not both; authors would still need to have a default option that
* By blank, I mean something unique that the script that will process
the form knows means a non-selection. I normally use <option
value=""> for this purpose, but it could be any value the author
In other cases, there must always be something selected; a non-
selection shouldn't be possible. An example might be the "country"
field on an address form, which defaults to the most likely choice
(e.g. United States for sites that expect most of their audience to
be American). The user shouldn't be permitted to select a non-
value. How should the placeholder text be displayed? It seems clear
to me that it should NOT appear on the collapsed menu at all, but
should appear at the top of the expanded menu.
There are other cases where having a blank option is appropriate, but
the default may be something else. The user can explicitly change
the selection to a blank option.
How should the placeholder behave in each of these cases?
I realize these are display issues rather than semantic issues, but I
think it's appropriate to discuss them.
whatwg at phroggy.com
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