[whatwg] Have tabstrip / tab elements been discussed?

E.J. Zufelt lists at zufelt.ca
Sat Aug 28 15:32:12 PDT 2010

On 2010-08-28, at 6:10 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 9:54 PM, E.J. Zufelt <lists at zufelt.ca> wrote:
>> Good evening,
>> I am rather new to this list and am curious if anytime recently there has
>> been discussion about adding tabstrip and tab elements to the html5 spec?
>>  The concept of a tabstrip is a rather commonly used UI component on the web
>> (web-applications, content management systems, facetted searches) and it
>> would be particularly useful for accessibility if we could communicate the
>> semantics of the tabstrip through markup.
>> My definition for a tabstrip is a collection of items (tabs) of which one is
>> "active" or "selected", each tab usually will perform an action when
>> activated.
>> Possible markup for tabs with no function (informational only).
>> <tabstrip>
>>   <tab>Apple</tab>
>>   <tab selected>Orange</tab>
>>   <tab>Peach</tab>
>> </tabstrip>
>> For active elements like links anchor or buttons could be used within each
>> tab.
> This is a CSS issue, not an HTML one.  Hiding temporarily-inactive
> panes is just a matter of display:none'ing some of them.  There is
> additional plumbing you have to hook up so that clicking on a tab sets
> the active one appropriately, but that should be pursued as a new
> ability in CSS.  I know it's been discussed in the group a few times,
> though no draft has come out of it yet.

Note that I am not talking about behavior here (scripting what happens), or style (what is visible and what it looks like), I am talking about markup for the UI component itself.  In the same way that a button is a UI component in markup (even though all button functions and appearance could be achieved without a button in markup.

It is important to provide semantic markup for complex UI controls where they are common, tabstrip/tab is one example of a common UI component that requires markup.  This way meaningful information about the role of the component can be communicated to UAs.  Particularly important for users who access the web non-visually, and who cannot rely upon the visual affordances of styled lists made to look like a tabstrip.


> ~TJ

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