[thelist] Fomated tet box question

Chris.Marsh at Callserve.com Chris.Marsh at Callserve.com
Wed Mar 9 12:03:01 CST 2005



> I never claimed dropdowns are inaccessible, I consider them 

I inferred this, inaccurately it would appear.

> inflexible and
> harder to use even with a mouse and the newest browsers.
> Checking the user agent is finicky at best. We tried that 

I have had success with this, but neither perspective is particularly useful
to the discussion at hand - both being localised and anecdotal.

> before during
> the browser wars and failed miserably. What a system can do 
> is build up
> gradually, for example a simple text box getting a popup calendar when
> JavaScript is available or staying a simple box when it isn't.

I would certainly agree with this methodology, although I still see no
compelling argument against using select boxes for date ranges.


> But a keyboard for example. I spend about £300 a month online and book
> flights for the company worth £2k. I use a laptop and a 
> trackpointer. Most
> of the time I use the keyboard though. I am not part of a "disabled
> minority", but cannot be bothered to use three dropdowns.

This is dangerous perspective for a developer. If you cannot be bothered to
use three select boxes with a keyboard and I can, as two developers what
information does this give us about the useability of the proposed
interface? Absolutely none. One manner (by no means failsafe) in which to
assess the useability of a proposed interface is to conduct research into
what other organisations have invested development time and money into


> Ah, true, however shouldn't the form tell me the expected 
> format in the
> label? 

Just because a label gives instruction doesn't mean that users will follow
them. Don't fall into the trap of believing all users that cannot or will
not follow your instructions are stupid.

> Clever systems change the date format according to the
> language/locale you selected. When I offer an English site 
> for American
> users I allow for American dates, for the English, I offer English. We

If the select box (as Marc mentioned) gives the month name in English, there
is no confusion. If you offer a free text area, your system will have to be
very clever indeed to divine the *nationality* of the user. An American
working for a French country in Saudi Arabia using a satellite internet
connection will be seen as Arabic, American, French or (believe it or not)
German depending on the detection method used.


> The only argument I heard in favour of selects I heard so far 
> is that it
> is harder for scripts to simulate these entries, and 
> therefore harder to
> spoof a real user signing up for something.

How so? There is no differentiating factor that I am aware of between the
form input from the two following form fields:

<select name='test'>
  <option 'good'>Test</option>
<input type='text' name='test' value='bad' />


Chris Marsh

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and delete the email immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. 

Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

Finally, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Callserve Communications accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email. _______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned for all viruses by the MessageLabs SkyScan

More information about the thelist mailing list