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RE: default values in type="text"


From: Jukka Korpela
Date: Nov 11, 2002 12:20AM

Bill Mason wrote:

> I think this specific requirement about default input form
> values is dated, though.

Or let's say that it's become obsolete, since it implied a condition
(effectively, "if user agents cannot handle empty controls correctly"),
which now can hardly ever be met.

> As the guidelines says, "Until user agents handle
> empty controls correctly...." I think we're at that point.

Exactly. And this, by the way, shows how misleading various
"accessibility checking" software can be: they apply some rules
that ignore essential points like conditions (or, to take another
example, meaningfulness - they could e.g. check whether each <input>
element has a <label> associated with it, but hardly whether the
association is _correct_).

The "placeholder" guideline was never a good idea IMHO. Even when
it helped some user agents behave better, it surely confused users.
It conflicts with the idea of providing a useful initial (default)
value, often based on suitable information, making it probable
that the user may actually accept the initial value as his input.

Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
Diffuse Business Guide to Web Accessibility and Design for All:

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