The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Bobby is, I think, a bit too pedantic

New day, new article in 30 days to a more accessible weblog. This time about labeling of form elements. Hey, why not? It's easy enough to do.

So then I decide to use Bobby, a validator that checks the accessibility of a webpage and one of the fussiest (if not the fussiest) accessibility validators I know of. So then it's a process of validate, figure out what Bobby is complaining about, fix, lather, rinse, repeat.

I easily get AA approved (if I make sure not to have duplicate links with the same text, and hack the URL of the results page) but the exhaulted AAA rating (which it uses by default) just wasn't there. Let's see … I explicitely set the forground and background colors for the Google image (previously, I had just set the background color), set the properties for the <FIELDSET> and <LEGEND> tags so they don't disrupt the visual look of the page (yet are still there for those that need it) and added them to both forms on the page, even though the Google one only has one visible field to set (come on! a <FIELDSET> for one entry field? What are you guys smoking?) I even added the <LABEL> tags the way Bobby wants them (explicit labels instead of implicit labels).

No go.

Now what?

Seems that to get the exhaulted AAA rating, I need to add placeholding characters in the text entry fields over there to the left (or way below, depending on how this page is rendered).

Yea, right

Accessibility vs. usability? I'm not entirely sure what the accessibility issues are for filling in bogus or example data for the two fields and it's pretty obvious to me what should go in there but hey, you never know. But in any case, I'm not filling in the fields with bogus or example data as that would violate my æsthetic sensibilities with the page.

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