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Saturday, April 26, 2008

bug 173 - form field focus issues in Safari

Issue: #173
Affects: Safari 3.1 (Win), {Safari 3.1 (Mac)?}

As more and more applications go online in this Web 2.0 world, interactions with forms are critical to an applications success. Safari leads the way with built-in textarea resizing but it has a major issue with form field focus.

Since data entry in forms is a crucial part of online forms, ensuring that your forms are both keyboard and mouse navigable is important. Unfortunately in Safari the keyboard navigation breaks if you use the mouse on radio or checkbox elements. This becomes a major issue because although radio and checkbox elements are keyboard accessible, in general users prefer to use the mouse to make their selection(s).

The issue is this. If you use the mouse to select a radio or checkbox field one expects that that field has the focus and thus a 'Tab' will take you to the next available field (or whatever is defined in the tabindex order). When the user presses 'Tab' in Safari, the focus resets to the first form field on the page!

If you use the mouse for other types of fields, or use only the keyboard the issue doesn't occur.

Example: (Try it out!)

First Name:
Last Name:
Life Story:
Pets Name:
Spam Preferences:
Pornography (NSFW collection)
Medications (weight loss, ED, muscles)
Mortgage/Loan (impossible rates)
Religion (guilt, pressure, overtones)
Fakes (fake rolex, cartier, artwork)
Hot Stocks (buy! buy! insider info)
Pirated software (OEM, Bulk, Download)
Illegal Music/Movies (Torrents, P2P)
Surprise Me! (Scams, popup, virus)
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:

Known Workarounds: None.

Related Issues: (bug 132).

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