[whatwg] Select elements and radio button/checkbox groups [Was: Form Control Group Labels]

Eduard Pascual herenvardo at gmail.com
Wed Oct 29 10:37:52 PDT 2008

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 9:49 AM, Markus Ernst <derernst at gmx.ch> wrote:
> Consider a form with some quite big radio button groups, and now you have do
> add some more options. After you are done, your boss says: "Ok, great
> work... but this looks too ugly now, just change it into those dropdown kind
> of things."
Honestly, this seems like a presentational issue to me. Isn't CSS3's
Basic UI module (http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-ui/) enough to handle that?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the properties there would
allow you to present a radiobutton group as a dropdown menu, and

> To illustrate this, have a look unordered and ordered lists, which are
> similar, too. Consider ul and ol would have the same kind of different
> syntaxes; say, the ul element would work like we know it, but to make an
> ordered list we would have to write something like:
> <p type="orderedlist">
>  <listposition value="list position 1">
>  <listposition value="list position 2">
> </p>
> Now simply changing an ordered into an unordered list would cause an
> annoying amount of re-writing, such as changing a radio button group into a
> select element does.
Even in that case, CSS3 (and I think even CSS2) would perfectly allow
you to render an originally unordered list as an ordered one (with
different choices of "numbering" style), and vice-versa, without
changing anything on the markup.

In summary, if you only need to change the presentation, then it's a
CSS issue (and CSS seems to deal well enough with it); and if you are
really changing the semantics and inherent structure of the document,
then the need to non-trivially adjust the markup is unavoidable: after
all, the semantics and structure is what the markup is actually

Just my thoughts.

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