[whatwg] The placeholder attribute

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 19:14:48 PDT 2011

Should @placeholder be renamed @eg, and used exclusively for example input?

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 11:53 PM, Bjartur Thorlacius
<svartman95 at gmail.com> wrote:
> The semantics of the placeholder and title attributes of inputs overlap
> slightly; the placeholder attribute may contain a hint to aid the user,
> while title is to contain "other advisory text." I can think of two valid
> uses of placeholder: example value, and the text "click here to type" or
> "enter search query here." The latter is obviously user interface that
> should be implemented by interactive user agents. Then there is the third
> use, use it as a title attribute (but with richer presentation).
> Users might want values falling under the first to be prefixed with "e.g.",
> "for example" or equivalent - but by allowing the latter use forces authors
> to add it to all example values, rather than letting the user's style sheet
> take care of it. Thus I suggest narrowing the semantics of the attribute to
> example values, allowing for easier styling by users (or agents, on their
> behalf). The second one should have no valid representation. Lastly, the
> specification should make it clearer what the title attribute is appropriate
> for; a description of the input or format.
> Also, I see no reason to suggest not rendering the text when the input is
> focused - in special on 1D devices such as speech - considering that
> JavaScript dependent sites (such as Hotmail) have placed example values in a
> small font below the input so that it can be visible while the user is
> typing, and, more importantly, after the input has been focused (whether
> automatically or manually), but before the user starts typing.
> As for the argument against using the title attribute for everything that it
> would break existing sites, I do believe rendering the title attribute of an
> empty and unfocused input inside of it is an improvement over displaying a
> tooltip a second or two after the user positions a cursor over the input
> (irrespective of focus). How on Earth is anyone to think of doing that?
> Displaying the title attribute in a floating box in a margin when an input
> is focused, followed by the example value prefixed with "e.g." would be my
> preferred rendering, but that's just my opinion.
> P.S. The last paragraph of the section on the pattern attribute links twice
> to <semantics.html#the-title-element>. Should it not link to
> <elements.html#the-title-attribute>?

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