[whatwg] Form element invalid message

Roger Hågensen rescator at emsai.net
Mon Sep 20 16:03:04 PDT 2010

  On 2010-09-21 00:38, Shiv Kumar wrote:
> Scenario 1:
> We now have the option define if an element is required and the form 
> will validate the value such elements before submission. That's a step 
> in the right direction. However, it so happens different 
> implementation do different things in the case when the validation 
> return false.
> Some browsers, have no visual indication (probably due to lack of 
> support at this time)
> Some browsers will outline the field in question
> Some will pop up a message under the field in question. The message is 
> something cryptic like "You have to specify a value".
> Scenario 2:
> That's one aspect I'd like to talk about. The other aspect is that 
> typically, you don't want to show only one error as a time to the end 
> user. You want to show them all validation errors after trying to 
> submit the form one time (this is the common practice as well), rather 
> than forcing them to submit a form multiple times to discover 
> validation issues one by one. As you can imagine this is a nightmare 
> for the end-user.
> For the first scenario I'd like to propose that we have a 
> validationMessage attribute (or some other name) that allows web 
> developers to specify a more appropriate (based on the type of input 
> data required and/or the input type such as text, url, email etc.), 
> user friendly/business friendly and creative error message rather than 
> some unknown message (as different vendors will likely have their own 
> verbiage).
> For the second scenario I guess the spec should be clear about 
> validating all fields? I'm not sure what the spec for this is (I can't 
> seem to find anywhere that details the validation process for forms).
> What are your thoughts on the above?

Hmm! Like a error="" attribute or something like that, which is shown 
instead of a generic built in browser message?

Take this example http://www.quirksmode.org/dom/error.html

I assume you wish to be able to do this instead:
<input size="20" name="email" id="email" error="A valid email must be 
entered!" type="email" required>

and that if it is: <input size="20" name="email" id="email" error="" 
type="email" required>
or if it is <input size="20" name="email" id="email" type="email" required>
then the built in browser error message for type="email" should be shown?

This still leaves the question of where/how to display the error.
Some might want a Balloontip happening  when the field looses focus 
(this is how the Windows OS does it) and saves the most IMO, the error 
text could be shown then.

If the browser does not behave like that but only when pressing 
submitting then marking the fields and perhaps provide a mouseover tip 
explaining the error (the error text could be shown then)

Or the error text could be shown like in that example, but that wold 
require a "errorfor" or similar to how label for behaves.

I think it would be just best to spec it so that a Balloontip with the 
browser error message (or the input field's custom error message) is 
displayed at the field loosing focus, and optionally keeping the field 
highlighted until the input is acceptable, thus allowign the user to 
fill out the rest of the form and fix the error last, and not allow 
submission unless all errors are fixed obviously, and if no fields been 
filled and the user tries to submit then all required fields would be 
highlighted, maybe a default OS error "ding" should be played too.

I believe this is the best UI implementation as it's instant feedback based.

Roger "Rescator" Hågensen.
Freelancer - http://EmSai.net/

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