[thelist] Submitting a form with javascript

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Mon Nov 3 10:24:23 CST 2003


> From: Hershel Robinson
> > accessibility should *always* be an issue, especially
> > with something that can so easily be done in a more
> > accessible fashion.  i'll agree that there are times
> > when budget, expediency, etc. that accessibility gets
> > a lower priority than usual, but i don't see how
> > that's the case here.
> Just to play devil's advocate, what about a case where
> one is developing for an intranet or other
> NON-cross-browser site where all the users are already
> required to have JS enabled to use the site. In such a
> situation, why not use a link to submit the form if the
> link looks better on the page? In particular, if the
> client likes a link and not a button, why not?
> Again, I am speaking in a case where JS and
> browser-choice are NOT left up to the visitors.

there are lots of reasons.

1) some browsers break forms that don't have an actual
   submit button meaning you can't use the enter key to
   submit the form.  some claim this as a good thing,
   but it's not.  it's a disruption of expected
   behavior for those users accustomed to it.
2) look all around you at data collection forms.  in
   practically all the cases a button is used to submit
   the data, not a link.  using a link is a departure
   from normal ui conventions and will be nothing but
   a confusion for your users.
3) can you really mandate that non-sighted users use
   ie as well?  or, are you going to have to succumb to
   their need to use a screenreader (which may or may
   not be based on the ie web browser control)?
4) what do you do if the company gets a wild hair up
   their bum and changes their browser standard

don't get me wrong, the work i do requires win/ie6 to use the administrative
tools.  we do this because this combination covers about 98% of our existing
clients.  it greatly reduces development time so the client gets more for
their money.  it also means we can reuse alot of stuff written for other
projects that's already been tested, saving the client even *more* money.
if they want us to support a different browser or os, the rate for
administrative tools goes up *tremendously*.

my point in saying that accessibility should always be a concern is that you
never know when a wrench is going to get thrown into the works.  better to
consider those things ahead of time.


Jeff Howden - Web Application Specialist
Resume - http://jeffhowden.com/about/resume/
Code Library - http://evolt.jeffhowden.com/jeff/code/

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