[whatwg] fieldset disabled and first legend

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Dec 28 23:31:56 PST 2010

On Mon, 20 Sep 2010, Mounir Lamouri wrote:
> The current specification for the fieldset element's disabled attribute
> is the following:
> "The disabled  attribute, when specified, causes all the form control
> descendants of the fieldset element, excluding those that are
> descendants of the fieldset element's first legend element child, if
> any, to be disabled."
> First of all, "form control descendants" isn't really clear considering
> there is no real definition of "form control" in the specification

The sentence you quote above is non-normative (it doesn't say "must" 
anywhere), so it's intended to be clear to people who are looking for a 
quick explanation, it's not intended to be precise for implementors.

> Why not using "listed elements" instead? which would correspond to all 
> elements returned by .elements.

The actual normative definition is here:


That definition is then used in normative requirements, like "If the 
element is not disabled, then the user agent should allow the user to 
activate the button" and so on, elsewhere in the spec.

> This is very interesting to have the elements inside the first legend to 
> not be disabled. I guess the idea is to have a checkbox enabling some 
> options. For example, "advanced options" in a configuration.


> However, the specification seems to miss one edge case. What if a
> fieldset has been disabled because it is inside a disabled fieldset?

The actual definition above handles this.

> Depending on how you read the current specification, you can consider
> that the elements inside the first legend of the second fieldset should
> be disabled or not.

Since the text is not normative, you can't read it either way. :-)

On Fri, 24 Sep 2010, Mounir Lamouri wrote:
> If that was Hixie's intention, I think adding a non-normative paragraph 
> explaining the edge case would be nice. Otherwise, making the 
> specification more clear would be required.

The paragraph you quote _is_ the non-normative paragraph. :-)

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

More information about the whatwg mailing list