[whatwg] Two propositions for the autofocus attribute

timeless timeless at gmail.com
Mon Apr 26 01:54:17 PDT 2010

On Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 2:14 AM, Garrett Smith <dhtmlkitchen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> we had a "manager" who insisted on a "feature" where the browser would
>> move focus to the urlbar in certain cases.

> Why is the manager making decisions about U/X?

managers are managers, when engineers tell them they're wrong, they're
insistent and whatever wrong thing they say goes.

> Does he believe he is qualified to do that?

obviously he did. obviously he wasn't. but his official title wasn't
manager. it's closer to 'business product owner' or something.
roughly it translates to 'manager'.

> Unless somebody properly tells him otherwise, he may likely go on believing that.

it's convenient here because i can speak from experience that a
similar feature was implemented and works out as an incredibly bad

it took him a few releases before he admitted his demand was a
mistake, but our customers are still suffering.
i think he might have learned his lesson (he claims he learned it, but
only time will tell).

> Is it username and password? GMail does that, changing focus around on
> me and it is annoying when I get the error message telling me that I
> typed the wrong password when I didn't; gmail just changed focus
> around on me and that caused a problem.

a "field" in the content area and the browser's url bar

> Did you demonstrate the problems?

we explained them, yes, i think we probably even demonstrated them.
his view was that his 'pet feature' was more important, and we were
overruled (we got to have a user facing pref to protect ourselves).

> There is a chance that he is totally ignorant to the consequences of doing that.

we did explain the hazards of what he wanted, so it he shouldn't have
been left ignorant.

> Maybe his typing is also slow or maybe he doesn't use the feature repeatedly/

on most static pages, his intended behavior is arguably useful.
(his claim was "if nothing is focussed, and the url bar isn't visible,
then typing should jump to the urlbar, so that i can easily type

unfortunately, this breaks most web2.0 sites, which were the sites we
really wanted users to use....

> Sure, and that code would surely e a mistake; perhaps using two
> separate include files. The developer adding the second might wonder:
> Why does c2 not get focus? He would find his mistake, eventually
> (hopefully soon!) and fix it.

developers are unlikely to find such mistakes because they're likely
to have very fast computers with very short links to their servers.

users otoh tend to have slow computers with long and slow links to the
real servers.

besides, i believe we've established that c2 would get focus (unless
there's a user involved), so that developer wouldn't notice a problem
at all.

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