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fieldsets need legends

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

this post refers to the "Write" interface from WordPress utilized to post comments to WHATWG blogs.

there is well-intentioned, but mis-implemented markup in the edit form; namely, improper implemetation of the FIELDSET.

for a proper FIELDSET, one needs to do 4 things:

  1. open the FIELDSET (which this form does)
  2. define a LEGEND for the FIELDSET (which this form does NOT); the natural candidates for LEGEND are the level 3 headers (H3) classed dbx-handle so instead of repeatedly hearing "click to open this box", i would also get the pseudo-box (which i would call sub-forms) LEGEND as an indicator of what i am about to open or close. i would also make the alt text device independent - instead of "click here to open this box", i would propose "show sub-form" and "hide sub-form"
  3. bind individual FORM controls to their textual labels by use of the LABEL element and the for/id mechanism that ties the form control (which takes the "id") to a LABEL (which takes the "for") or multiple labels; the LABEL should contain the actual, textual label, and NOT the FORM control, as in this form; this form has the attribute set set correctly to bind the LABEL to the FORM control, but since the LABEL element is opened PRIOR to the INPUT element, no labeling is available to the user - in my case (i use a screen-reader) the sub-forms that appear when one opens a FIELDSET to reveal a FORM appear unlabeled to my screenreader, because of invalid markup.
  4. close the FIELDSET (which this form does)

Posted in Forms, WHATWG | 10 Comments »