W3C

Results of Questionnaire ISSUE-95: Removing the hidden Attribute - Straw Poll for Objections

The results of this questionnaire are available to anybody.

This questionnaire was open from 2010-05-12 to 2010-05-19.

8 answers have been received.

Jump to results for question:

  1. Objections to the Change Proposal to Remove the hidden Attribute
  2. Objections to the Change Proposal to Keep New Elements and Attributes

1. Objections to the Change Proposal to Remove the hidden Attribute

We have a Change Proposal to remove the hidden attribute. If you have strong objections to adopting this Change Proposal, please state your objections below.

Keep in mind, you must actually state an objection, not merely cite someone else. If you feel that your objection has already been adequately addressed by someone else, then it is not necessary to repeat it.

Details

Responder Objections to the Change Proposal to Remove the hidden Attribute
Larry Masinter
Julian Reschke
David Singer - The hidden attribute provides a way to mark up hidden or temporarily irrelevant content in a way that combines semantics, accessibility, and default appearance. There is a difference between being semantically hidden/irrelevant and not being displayed for purely presentational reasons.
- HTML4 partially serves the need for semantically hidden content with <input type=hidden>, this should be generalized to all elements.
- The aria-hidden attribute partially serves the need to hide content semantically, but it requires authors to arrange for actually hiding the element visually using a separate mechanism. Accessibility would be improved by using a single mechanism.
- Semantic elements and attributes lead to improved accessibility. The HTML WG Accessibility Task Force has endorsed the hidden attribute and opposed the call to remove it.
- Implementors of multiple browser engines, including WebKit, Gecko and Presto, have expressed interest in implementing this element.

Given the interest from authors, implementors and the accessibility community in keeping it, the hidden attribute should not be removed.
Cynthia Shelly The existing mechanisms all miss one case or another, and it is complicated to understand when to use one over another. The new hidden attribute covers all the cases in a way that will make it much simpler to include markup on a page that is intended as input to a script rather than output to a user.
Gregory Rosmaita a native solution which provides the means of marking content as not yet or no longer relevant, is highly desireable; while such a feature, of course, needs to be harmonized with what ARIA offers, it MUST be remembered that aria-hidden is part of a bridging vocabulary, which provides semantics and functionalities which native markup does not provide; the hiding and exposition of content that is not yet, or is no longer, relevant should not be left to scripting or an overlay such as ARIA, but should be an organic part of HTML5.

that said, i agree with julian reschke that in order for the hidden attribute to work as intended, it is first necessary to define precedence rules for the application of hidden.
Jonas Sicking I object to removing the hidden attribute as it would result in missing out of the positive effects listed in http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/KeepNewElements#Positive_Effects

My experience working with web authors for several years is that they tend to do what is easy, whereas accessibility often ends up coming second due to time constraints and unawareness.

By including the semantic hidden element, we both make it easier for developers to do what they want, since they can use the .hidden IDL attribute, and they automatically get the desired semantic meaning.

I think it's very unlikely that as many people would add proper ARIA attributes, as would use the hidden attribute. I think this is the reason that the WAI-ARIA specification encourages developers of markup languages to add semantic elements and explicitly declares ARIA as a bridge technology. I also think this is why the HTML Accessibility TF has endorsed the hidden attribute.
Laura Carlson
Krzysztof Maczy&#324;ski

2. Objections to the Change Proposal to Keep New Elements and Attributes

We have a Change Proposal to keep several newly-introduced semantic elements, attributes, and controls. If you have strong objections to adopting this Change Proposal specifically with respect to the hidden attribute, please state your objections below.

Keep in mind, you must actually state an objection, not merely cite someone else. If you feel that your objection has already been adequately addressed by someone else, then it is not necessary to repeat it.

Details

Responder Objections to the Change Proposal to Keep New Elements and Attributes
Larry Masinter (see objection on ISSUE-90; lack of transition plan and unambiguous support at this point => remove to allow HTML5 to reach rec realistically).
Julian Reschke It appears that @hidden just duplicates functionality that is already there (through CSS and aria), without actually defining precedence rules. Also, it appears to have a weak deployment story. Finally, the claim that setting the display style to none is "error-prone" is really questionable.
David Singer
Cynthia Shelly
Gregory Rosmaita
Jonas Sicking
Laura Carlson Rationale is at:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2010May/att-0025/hidden.txt
Krzysztof Maczy&#324;ski The other CP lists enough problems with this attribute. Besides, the case for boolean attributes is questionable (changing requires altering presence of a node, not just its value, which is inconvinient in some scenarios). While it may well be useful, even more broadly than in HTML, at this time it should be removed from the draft, possibly to come back more fully baked later. (There's little to lose anyway, given ARIA's close equivalent. Careful attention has to be paid to aspects in which there's no equivalence, however.)

More details on responses

  • Larry Masinter: last responded on 13, May 2010 at 20:50 (UTC)
  • Julian Reschke: last responded on 14, May 2010 at 12:54 (UTC)
  • David Singer: last responded on 18, May 2010 at 18:34 (UTC)
  • Cynthia Shelly: last responded on 18, May 2010 at 18:41 (UTC)
  • Gregory Rosmaita: last responded on 19, May 2010 at 14:48 (UTC)
  • Jonas Sicking: last responded on 19, May 2010 at 18:48 (UTC)
  • Laura Carlson: last responded on 20, May 2010 at 01:18 (UTC)
  • Krzysztof Maczy&#324;ski: last responded on 20, May 2010 at 02:45 (UTC)

Everybody has responded to this questionnaire.


Compact view of the results / list of email addresses of the responders

WBS home / Questionnaires / WG questionnaires / Answer this questionnaire

Report issues on GitHub project w3c/wbs-design (preferred) or by mail to sysreq.