[whatwg] Improving autocomplete

Nils Dagsson Moskopp nils at dieweltistgarnichtso.net
Wed Nov 21 17:11:38 PST 2012

Peter Kasting <pkasting at google.com> schrieb am Wed, 21 Nov 2012
12:04:56 -0800:

> […]
> On the contrary, as a user I find that case extremely compelling.
> Maybe I'm too easily frustrated, but it's intensely annoying when I
> have to fill out all my personal information yet again just because
> I've gone to some new site to buy something.  This is far harder on
> mobile because typing is just a huge pain there and the screen is
> small enough that I can only see a few fields at once.

I have noticed this as well: Several platforms seem to intentionally
make it harder to write text – mainly through removal of physical
keyboards, taking away pressure feedback and, to a lesser extent
modificator keys.

The proper solution is to let people vote with their wallet for devices
that are perceived as making input easier – not to hand over power to
site users making it easier to sniff data.

> It's already the case that Chrome can autofill my credit card number
> into a form that asks for it, so I'm not totally sure why the proposed
> capabilities here are viewed as new and scary.  It seems like we're
> just trying to expose a slightly nicer event system for letting
> authors interact with the existing UA feature set.

Looks like an is-ought-problem to me. The descriptive (“It's already
the case …”) can not tell us much about what should be done by virtue
of its existence alone. Did you use „new and scary” to imply opponents
appeal to tradition?

What Chrome can do is started by users; even then a warning is given:

> It's important that you use Autofill only on websites you trust, as
> certain websites might try to capture your information in hidden or
> hard-to-see fields.

Back to your text:

> I totally agree that we should think hard about privacy and security
> issues with form autofilling.  It's just that I think we're already
> in a world where we have to think about those concerns (indeed, have
> been so for awhile), and the specific proposals here don't really
> amount to a systematic difference in that respect.

The systematic difference – for me – is that the proposed functionality
may make easier to trick a user into agreeing to „autocomplete
everything“ than the current functionality does.

Nils Dagsson Moskopp // erlehmann

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