[whatwg] Fwd: Placeholder option for text input boxes
Tab Atkins Jr.
jackalmage at gmail.com
Tue Sep 30 10:39:31 PDT 2008
blarg forward to list.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 12:39 PM
Subject: Re: [whatwg] Placeholder option for text input boxes
To: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com>
On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 12:25 PM, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <
bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> 2) @alt
>> Pro: Presumably accessible to people with screen readers.
> Presumptions are risky.
> Is there any evidence (by which I mean a test case and a description of how
> to reproduce behavior with real user agents) that demonstrates that this
> would be true for INPUT TYPE="TEXT"? I can imagine screen readers resorting
> to checking ALT to repair missing LABEL and TITLE; I'd be surprised if it
> were common behavior otherwise. Likewise I can imagine users being able to
> query for ALT, but this hardly seems like a natural interface for accessing
> placeholder text.
I have no way of testing it, which is why it was merely "presumed". ^_^ I
could certainly try to put together some test-cases, but I don't know what
screen-readers are in common use (especially free ones).
> 3) @title
> Not accessible.
> There are various accessibility problems @title in existing environments
> and user agents:
> However, implementations could be improved, just as support for
> "placeholder" could be implemented.
Ah, thanks for the link! From the information on that page, though, it
looks as if the major problem with @title isn't an implementation issue, but
rather an authoring issue.
> 4) <label> (moving label textual content into <input> as placeholder text;
>> present the desired appearance while keeping the DOM stable)
>> Pro: Most semantic.
> Is it? How is it /more/ semantic than "placeholder", which would precisely
> identify this text as a placeholder?
Well, is "placeholder" a semantic category? To me, it seems much more like
a presentational designation. The purpose it serves is to label the form
input in a compact manner for space-limited layouts. In other words, it's a
*label*, which we luckily already have an entire element and UI behavior
built around. The fact that it sits *inside* the input rather than outside
doesn't affect the semantics at all - it's still describing the purpose of
the element for you.
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