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Re: default values in type="text"


From: Lori K. Brown
Date: Nov 10, 2002 3:48PM

Bill --

>>I disagree that this poses a W3C accessibility issue.

>>The requirement is: "Ensure that pages are usable when scripts,
>>applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not

>>If you have JavaScript turned off in this example, the page is not
>>unusable. You simply have to manually clear a field that would
>>otherwise have cleared itself.

So 'usable' DOESN'T mean functionally identical?
That is interesting. I mean, it makes sense, but I guess I was
operating on the thought that 'different' function meant 'unequal' in
the context of accessibility.

The other problem is that the forms that I work with in my company's
product really can't be given meaningful default values. I mean, if
you have an order form, and the field is for item quantity, sure,
stick in a '1' as a default. It's a good guess, it's the right data
type, it makes sense, and is potentially useful to any user. But in
our case, the majority of the fields really couldn't be given a
potentially useful default value. The software is for collaboration,
and practically anything could be input into them. In the case where
whatever we put in as a default will have to be replaced by the user,
this seems to me to be rather a nuisance to users, not an aid.

>>I think this specific requirement about default input form values is
>>dated, though. As the guidelines says, "Until user agents handle
>>empty controls correctly...." I think we're at that point.

Is there a good place to learn about the evolution of assistive
devices, so that I could learn about cases like this, where
has overtaken a somewhat awkward requirement? I want to follow the
standards and do the right thing, but I also want to know what the
assistive technologies are really delivering to users just like I
to know what browsers are really doing.


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