[whatwg] Placeholder option for text input boxes
Tab Atkins Jr.
jackalmage at gmail.com
Tue Sep 30 07:00:03 PDT 2008
On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:10 AM, Andy Lyttle <whatwg at phroggy.com> wrote:
> I do not like this idea at all. That is what LABEL is for, and
>> "it's so kewl" text is as annoying as BLINK and BGSOUND.
> The <label> tag is great for labels that are displayed outside the input
> box (in front of, above, etc.). The placeholder attribute is intended more
> as a hint than a label, and is displayed inside the input box without taking
> up any additional space on the page. An example might be:
> <label for="where">Get local weather forecast:</label>
> <input type="search" name="where" id="where" placeholder="City, State">
> Using the "alt" attribute has been suggested here, but no implementation
> uses "alt" in this way, while "placeholder" is already supported by one
> major browser (and since it really isn't alternate text, using "alt" doesn't
> make any sense). Another suggestion was to use the "title" attribute, which
> is a better idea, but "title" is generally implemented as a tooltip that
> doesn't appear until you hover over the element, which is not the desired
> behavior. It's perfectly legitimate to use a <label> tag AND title AND
> placeholder attributes, for three subtly different purposes.
Hm. I have a problem with your example. "Get local weather forecast" isn't
a semantic <label> for the field - it doesn't describe what the field is
for. It describes what the *form* is for, and so should be a <legend> or
<hn>. "City, State" actually describes the use of the <input> itself, and
should be the label.
I'd suspect that *all* examples where placeholder text is used (definitely
all the examples I know of personally) are most semantically served by a
mutated the DOM to remove the <label> and use its text as a placeholder.
Thus, I think this is best served by a CSS directive that does exactly
that. External vs placeholder text is a display issue - semantically, both
are labels for the field.
The only question would be whether to make this a property of <label> or
<input>... Probably <label> - targetting <input> would result in
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