[whatwg] Placeholder option for text input boxes

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Mon Sep 29 19:30:24 PDT 2008

On Sep 29, 2008, at 5:20 PM, Andy Lyttle wrote:

> Hi all!
> I would like to see Apple's <input type="search"> adopted as an  
> official standard, but there's one particular feature that would be  
> easy to adopt without supporting the rest, and that's the  
> "placeholder" option.  Currently, lots of sites are implementing  
> placeholder text through a combination of creative CSS and  
> JavaScript hacking, but each site has to reinvent the wheel, and  
> very often the wheel gets reinvented badly (examples below).  Making  
> it a standard feature of HTML would eliminate the need for all the  
> extra scripting and improve accessibility, and consistent behavior  
> would make a better user experience.

[... snip examples ...]

> As you can see, that's seven different behaviors, some of which are  
> clearly not ideal, and all of which require JavaScript, which takes  
> time to implement, test in multiple browsers, and debug.  Supporting  
> the placeholder attribute (which is already implemented in one major  
> browser) would solve all of these problems.
> Comments?

I would love to see the placeholder="" attribute (and, independently,  
<input type="search">) become standard parts of HTML5. We invented  
these extensions originally for non-Web content, but they seem useful  
for the Web and of interest to Web content authors.


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