[whatwg] Localisation of form fields

Markus Ernst derernst at gmx.ch
Fri Jan 20 07:56:28 PST 2012


There are two recent threads on localisation of form fields, one on 
input type=date, the other on the Decimal comma in numeric input. Both 
are about the question whether the form field value should be displayed 
according to the element's language, or rather based on the user's 
preferred locale. This looks like a basically interesting question to 
me; I see use cases for both:

Use case for using User's preferred locale:
- The user is viewing a website in a foreign language, using his/her own 

Use case for using the element's language:
- The user is viewing a website in his/her own language, but using a 
computer in an internet café in a foreign country (where (s)he might not 
even be able to change the language settings of the browser).

As some formats may be very different, both situations can lead to 
misunderstanding of the values displayed in the form, and thus wrong 
submissions. It was pointed out, that the comma may be a 1000 or a 
decimal separator. Or, dates are arranged differently, e.g. M/D/Y in 
English, but D.M.Y in German.

This makes me think, if UAs could be encouraged to invent some kind of 
UI for per-session overriding the localisation settings of both UA and 
website content.

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