[whatwg] [html5] Rendering of interactive content

Smylers Smylers at stripey.com
Sun Feb 8 05:40:44 PST 2009

Giovanni Campagna writes:

> If <input type="submit"> in some UA is rendered with all properties
> set to initial, not only it does not express the semantic of a button,
> but it may be difficult for a user to actually recognize it as a
> button and eventually click it. In that case I, as the author, may
> need to manually set { appearance:push-button;
> content:attr(value,string,"Send"); } in order to have my form
> submitted.  Try this example (in Firefox or Safari):
> data:text/html,<style>label { position:fixed; top:-1em; border:1px
> solid black; } label input { -moz-appearance:none;
> -webkit-appearance:none; border:none; width:auto; } input[type=submit]
> { -moz-appearance:none; -webkit-appearance:none;
> background-color:transparent; border:none; }</style><form
> action="http://www.google.com/search" method="get"><label>Search:
> <input type="text" value="" name="q"></label><input type=submit
> value="Go">
> Imagine that was the UA default stylesheet instead of an author
> stylesheet and you may see what interoperability means with web
> application look and feel.

Indeed it would be a problem if a major web browser shipped with such a
default style-sheet.  But ... I'm really having trouble imagining any of
them doing so.  It isn't in mainstream browsers' interests to produce
products which purposefully confuse their users.

Surely a browser which disguises buttons as plain text is going to lose
market share of its own accord, regardless of what HTML 5 says?

Or, to look at it from the opposite direction, supposing a browser
producer really wanted to make buttons look like plain text, would
whether HTML 5 condemns this practice really affect what they do?  Would
not being able to market their browser as HTML-5-compliant be enough
that they'd begrudgingly forget their desire?  Would users dissatisfied
with the behaviour only complain because it breaches HTML 5, rather than
because, say, it's really stupid?

I can't see how a requirement such as you propose would make any
practical difference on avoiding the outcomes you wish to avoid.  But it
might unnecessarily curtail innovation in directions that we haven't yet
envisaged -- perhaps somebody developing a specialist user-agent for
mobile devices (or digital TV, or for print-based output, or
large-screen non-interactive displays, or ...) comes up with a different
way of displaying certainly elements which she considers is superior for
her particular target audience; why should the spec attempt to dissuade
her from doing so?


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