[thelist] Accessibility/usability of "Select Option" at top of list

Steven Streight steven.streight at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 14:30:07 CST 2007

Okay, I think I understand this now. Thanks.

On 1/15/07, Matt Warden <mwarden at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/15/07, Steven Streight <steven.streight at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Then, to INPUT type, you end with "checked", setting the default option.
> >
> > I'd still be curious as to what this applies to, since generally, it is
> > either done to save user time, by pre-selecting what the vast majority
> will
> > select anyway, or, nefariously, as a way to trick unwary, hurried web
> users
> > into agreeing to what is convenient or profitable for the site owner,
> and
> > not necessarily in the best interests of the user.
> >
> > This latter scenario is what must be avoided.
> I am unsure where the confusion lies, but we are talking about a
> *select box*, not a text field, nor checkbox, nor radio button, nor
> textarea, etc. We're talking about:
> <select name="foo" id="foo">
> <option value="">Select Fruit</option>
> <option value="apple">Apple</option>
> <option value="orange">Orange</option>
> </select>
> The nature of the control is such that one of these must be selected.
> There is no possibility to have zero options selected. That situation
> is undefined for this control. This is not a validation rule or
> somethign the developer would like; it is a characteristic of the
> control itself.
> Thus, the two options are:
> 1) List only valid values (i.e., apple, orange)
> 2) List valid values (i.e., apple, orange) and one invalid value
> (i.e., Select Fruit), which is selected by default.
> That is what we are discussing here.
> --
> Matt Warden
> Cleveland, OH, USA
> http://mattwarden.com
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Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Web Usability. Blog Revolution. Online Marketing.


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