[whatwg] :enabled and :disabled pseudo-classes should apply on fieldset elements

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Tue Dec 7 17:59:23 PST 2010

On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 5:43 PM, Jonas Sicking <jonas at sicking.cc> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 5:08 PM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>> On Sun, 12 Sep 2010, Mounir Lamouri wrote:
>>> The current state of the specifications do not mention fieldset elements
>>> for the :enabled and :disabled pseudo-classes but fieldset can be
>>> disabled so I guess it might be convenient to have these pseudo-classes
>>> applied to them.
>>> Opera applies :disabled and :enabled to fieldset elements and Mozilla
>>> might do the same.
>> It's not really the <fieldset> that is enabled/disabled, it's the
>> controls within it. Put it this way: if we dropped support for disabled=""
>> from the spec, I think one would still argue that <input> is :enabled
> Really? Why then isn't a <div> ever :enabled?
> :enabled IMHO only makes sense on elements which can be disabled,
> which is why div:enabled never matches anything. So if we removed
> disabled="" from <input> I don't think input:enabled would match
> anything.
>>, but
>> I don't think one would argue that <fieldset> is :enabled. Case in point,
>> nobody argued that <fieldset> should match :enabled before we added the
>> disabled="" attribute to it.
> IMHO because it couldn't be disabled before then. Another question is,
> on what basis are you saying that just the controls inside the
> fieldset are disabled, and not also the fieldset itself?
> I think a more important question is if it would be useful to have
> fieldset:disabled match. I.e. would anyone want to use that selector
> in CSS or querySelector? I have many times seen user interfaces like:
> [X] Some preference
>   [  ] Sub-preference 1
>   [  ] Sub-preference 2
> Where the sub-preferences are grayed out if the top-level preference
> is. And it's generally not just the sub-pref checkboxes that are
> grayed out, but also the labels next to them. This could be
> accomplished using a selector like:
> fieldset:disabled .controlLabel {
>  color: gray;
> }

Jonas got it exactly.  When I use <fieldset disabled> I'm indicating
more than the mere fact that the controls within the field set are
disabled.  The entire fieldset is being disabled, and this fact will
be communicated with special styling for everything in the fieldset,
such as coloring all the text within it lighter, or giving it a
different background color.


More information about the whatwg mailing list