Re: Submit button in forms revisited

lilley (
Wed, 25 Jan 1995 11:50:34 +0100

Rik Harris said:

> This topic came up quite a while ago, but I can't find it in the
> archives (anyone have a search engine on the full www-talk archives?).

Wish harder ;-)

> I thought the previous discussions ended up saying something like: "you
> need a submit button on the form, as you can't rely on the browser
> submitting single-field forms when the user presses <return>".
> [...]
> Lynx 2.3.8 doesn't support the use of <return> as a form submission
> mechanism. This seems like a very old question.

Let's argue by analogy - that old favourite, "This is a searchable index"
does not have a submit button because it is not a form, it's an ISINDEX.

Thus, browsers must already be capable of accepting a typed in response and
sending it off when the user completes some sort of trigger action, most
likely pressing enter or return or local equivalent.

So, they should already have the code to handle single field forms proided
that a standard somewhere says that they should.

In the interests of fairness, a counter argument ;-)

Nothing says that the single field has to be a single line text entry.
It could be a scribble input or a set of radiobuttons or whatever, so may
not be able to accept keyboard input at all. It may be a text field
with multiple lines - not so great if you are typing in your
address and it sends off the form with only your street name completed!
Anyone proposing hacks such as "a dot on a line by itself", forget it $:-)

Thus, the standard should be ammended to say that all forms must have
a submit button, but that for the case where a form consists solely of a
single line text entry field, that pressing return may be considerd
equivalent to selecting submit.

Chris Lilley
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