HTML question...

if you are offended by HTML questions on this list, please feel free to flame me off list.

I would like to display a boolean value in my #index view as a checkbox that is checked when true and blank when not true. Is there some markup that can do this? Is it “legal” to embed an tag outside the context of a form? Even if it’s “legal”, is it considered bad practice?

I’ve poked around a little looking to see what others have done, and I could embed a checkmark image in my page, or I could embed the proper Unicode code for a checkmark, and hope that the browser has a font installed with that character, but it seems to me that the browser must already know how to display a checkmark, and in the principle of DRY, I should be able to reuse it :slight_smile:

–wpd

if you are offended by HTML questions on this list, please feel free
to flame me off list.

I would like to display a boolean value in my #index view as a
checkbox that is checked when true and blank when not true. Is
there some markup that can do this? Is it "legal" to embed an
<input type="checkbox"> tag outside the context of a form? Even if
it's "legal", is it considered bad practice?

w3c validator doesn't seem to mind.

Fred

Frederick Cheung wrote:

I would like to display a boolean value in my #index view as a checkbox that is checked when true and blank when not true. Is there some markup that can do this? Is it "legal" to embed an <input type="checkbox"> tag outside the context of a form? Even if it's "legal", is it considered bad practice?

w3c validator doesn't seem to mind.

Under what DOCTYPEs?

(BTW I am building a webpage for a new project - non Rails - with generated source. The very first time I ran it thru http://validator.w3.org/ , it passed without even a warning. Beat that, Rails!!)

if you are offended by HTML questions on this list, please feel free to
flame me off list.

I would like to display a boolean value in my #index view as a checkbox that
is checked when true and blank when not true. Is there some markup that can
do this? Is it "legal" to embed an <input type="checkbox"> tag outside the
context of a form? Even if it's "legal", is it considered bad practice?

I was able to get formless inputs to pass validation (as XHTML 1.0
strict or 1.1) at w3.org by putting them inside block elements like
div or table.

I've poked around a little looking to see what others have done, and I could
embed a checkmark image in my page, or I could embed the proper Unicode code
for a checkmark, and hope that the browser has a font installed with that
character, but it seems to me that the browser must already know how to
display a checkmark, and in the principle of DRY, I should be able to reuse
it :slight_smile:

While it may not be invalid HTML, I would personally want more control
over the display of this element. I'd much prefer an image or some
other indicator (+ or - characters, for instance). Also the checkbox
control is going to potentially allow the user to select/deselect the
checkbox, whereas an image will not. And what if you later decide
you'd rather have happy/sad face icons? :wink:

DRY doesn't really apply here. I suppose you could apply DRY by
writing a helper function to generate a link to the correct image
based on the boolean value. But reusing standard elements in ways they
weren't really designed to be used... just muddles the semantics.

-Michael

I was able to get formless inputs to pass validation (as XHTML 1.0

strict or 1.1) at w3.org by putting them inside block elements like

div or table.

I’ve poked around a little looking to see what others have done, and I could

embed a checkmark image in my page, or I could embed the proper Unicode code

for a checkmark, and hope that the browser has a font installed with that

character, but it seems to me that the browser must already know how to

display a checkmark, and in the principle of DRY, I should be able to reuse

it :slight_smile:

DRY doesn’t really apply here. I suppose you could apply DRY by

writing a helper function to generate a link to the correct image

based on the boolean value. But reusing standard elements in ways they

weren’t really designed to be used… just muddles the semantics.

-Michael

Thanks Michael, Philp, & Fred. I should have thought of just trying it and running it through the validator before asking. Next time, I’ll try that first.

FWIW, when I mentioned “DRY” I was referring to reusing the code in the browser that displays a checkmark, not to any code that I might have written in my application. It was supposed to be a joke, but I guess it died. Sigh.

Thanks again folks. I appreciate the tips and opinions. Please keep them coming.

–wpd

Hmm, I'd advocate that you use images in this place so that people
know it's not something that you can interact with. From a usability
standpoint, if you provide a checkbox that looks like they can
interact with, they might try. Keep it simple and obvious to the
end-user.