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

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Apr 24 15:07:33 PDT 2009

On Thu, 4 Dec 2008, Markus Ernst wrote:
> Ian Hickson schrieb:
> >
> > Why is that a problem? Is converting one to the other a common occurance?
> > 
> > I'm not really convinced it's that much work. Assuming that the radio 
> > buttons and/or checkboxes are written in a consistent manner, which 
> > they usually are, a simple regexp search-and-replace on the source is 
> > usually enough to convert them. [...]
> Well, as far as I get the various discussions in the WHATWG list, many of them
> are about one of the following:
> - Making things easier
> - Introducing features into HTML that are commonly solved by client-side 
> (e.g. the extensions to the input element) or server-side scripting 
> (e.g. solving the login/logout problem in HTML)

Thus the question, is converting <select> to radio/checkbox groups common? 
I don't think it is. Are there oft-used JS libraries that do this?

> - Improving language consistency (e.g. the discussions about elements 
> such as abbr, dfn, small, b etc.)

These carefully avoid changing the syntax, though. :-)

> So let me, as a conclusion, repeat two points out of the suggestions I 
> made earlier, which I think would be quite helpful, and which do not 
> cause backwards compatibility problems, as they degrade to the default 
> behaviour of the elements in older UAs. After that I will not insist in 
> this topic anymore... :-)
> 1. Introduce a type attribute to the select element, which can change 
> the output into a list of radio buttons (in normal mode) resp. 
> checkboxes (in multiple mode).

Why can't you just use <input type=radio>/<input type=checkbox>?

(Note: On the long term, this is really just a stylistic issue, and XBL2 
with CSS will be able to achieve this anyway.)

> 2. Introduce a multiline attribute to input type="text", possibly 
> supplemented by a rows attribute.

Why can't you just use <textarea>?

We don't want to add features that don't really add new abilities, unless 
they really help something that people do a lot. Do people do this a lot?

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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