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HTML5 First Look

Using date pickers


From:

HTML5 First Look

with James Williamson

Video: Using date pickers

The last form element that we're going to add to our rider review form is a date picker. It's very common to have a user choose a date or a range of dates when filling out certain types of forms. In the past, this has either been handled by a third-party plug-ins or libraries or by forcing text input fields conform to a specific formatting. If you've ever had to do that, you know that those methods are tricky at best. The HTML5 specification provides us with a date picker to make this process native to the browser.
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  1. 3m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 50s
    3. Who is this course for?
      1m 5s
  2. 21m 12s
    1. Exploring prior standards
      4m 26s
    2. Why do we need HTML5?
      3m 32s
    3. HTML5 timeline
      4m 24s
    4. Current HTML5 support
      4m 25s
    5. What HTML5 is (and what it isn't)
      4m 25s
  3. 27m 49s
    1. HTML5 vs. HTML4
      3m 25s
    2. New structural tags
      6m 1s
    3. New content tags
      4m 7s
    4. New application-focused tags
      5m 32s
    5. Deprecated elements
      4m 28s
    6. API overview
      4m 16s
  4. 22m 29s
    1. Content models
      5m 33s
    2. Understanding the outline algorithm
      3m 21s
    3. The role of ‹div› tags
      4m 20s
    4. Using ID and class attributes
      2m 6s
    5. DOCTYPE declarations
      4m 16s
    6. Character encoding
      2m 53s
  5. 41m 27s
    1. Basic page structure
      3m 40s
    2. Structuring top-level elements
      7m 30s
    3. Structuring interior content
      8m 42s
    4. Building headers
      9m 11s
    5. Checking document outlines
      5m 46s
    6. Ensuring cross-browser structure
      6m 38s
  6. 27m 53s
    1. New input types
      5m 57s
    2. Setting form autofocus
      2m 53s
    3. Using placeholder data
      4m 4s
    4. Marking required fields
      3m 24s
    5. Working with number inputs
      5m 49s
    6. Using date pickers
      5m 46s
  7. 1h 1m
    1. Canvas overview
      6m 21s
    2. Adding canvas content
      8m 58s
    3. Drawing in the canvas environment
      12m 9s
    4. Drag-and-drop API overview
      6m 18s
    5. Offline applications overview
      7m 11s
    6. Video overview
      5m 45s
    7. Encoding video
      8m 23s
    8. Adding video
      5m 58s
  8. 57m 33s
    1. Geolocation API overview
      5m 50s
    2. Web storage API overview
      5m 40s
    3. WebSockets overview
      4m 16s
    4. CSS3 overview
      6m 38s
    5. Enhancing typography with CSS3
      7m 42s
    6. Using @font-face
      7m 11s
    7. Styling HTML5 with CSS3
      10m 23s
    8. Using CSS3 transitions
      9m 53s
  9. 5m 6s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 49s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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HTML5 First Look
4h 28m Beginner Aug 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In HTML5 First Look, author James Williamson introduces the newest HTML specification, providing a high-level overview of HTML5 in its current state, how it differs from HTML 4, the current level of support in various browsers and mobile devices, and how the specification might evolve in the future. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the history of HTML5
  • Using new tags
  • Understanding HTML5 semantics
  • Coding ID and class attributes in HTML5
  • Structuring documents
  • Building forms
  • Exploring HTML5 native APIs
  • Encoding and adding HTML5 video
  • Exploring associated technologies such as CSS3
Subjects:
Developer Web Web Design Web Development
Software:
HTML
Author:
James Williamson

Using date pickers

The last form element that we're going to add to our rider review form is a date picker. It's very common to have a user choose a date or a range of dates when filling out certain types of forms. In the past, this has either been handled by a third-party plug-ins or libraries or by forcing text input fields conform to a specific formatting. If you've ever had to do that, you know that those methods are tricky at best. The HTML5 specification provides us with a date picker to make this process native to the browser.

Let's check that out. So I have the Trails file open in the 05_06 folder. I'm going to scroll down into my form again and just like we did with our riders, we're going to place this directly underneath the URL. So in-between writers and URL, I'm at about line 91, I'm going to add a new form input, but first I'm going to do a label for it. So we're going to go ahead and do the label tag. And this one is going to be for tripDate is going to be the name of this form element, so we're going to do that for tripDate.

And the label itself is going to just read the Date of trip. So let's go down to our next line and we're going to do our input form field. So we're just going to go ahead and do an input and inside this, I want to talk about the different types of input form fields that will allow us to do date pickers. So I'm just going to bring up my code ending here so we can see these and I'm going to talk about them individually. Now, the first one that you're going to run into is date and what date will do in supported devices currently will just give you a simple calendar.

Now, we also have month. So let me bring up that one and what month does is it'll display a simple calendar that also has a month pull-down menu. Yeah, in addition to month, you've got week and what week does is week gives you a calendar with a week pull-down menu. It's kind of an odd formatting, but it gives you sort of a third week in June type of pull-down. We also, I don't know if you noticed that when we did date, but we also have datetime and datetime-local. Let me talk about those two. Datetime gives you the calendar with a time picker on the top of it.

So if you want then to be able to choose a date and a specific time that they were posting something or a specific time they're going to set an appointment for, that'd be a really good one for that. Now, datetime-local is a calendar with a time picker with no time zone offset. Now, it displays exactly the same way as datetime and really the whole time zone offset thing is up to the user agent or device anyway. So its just gives you an ability to differentiate between the two of them. There is also one final one. There's one called time and what time does for you is it displays no calendar whatsoever.

It's just simply the actual time picker itself. Now, the specification itself is extremely vague about how devices and browsers should represent this data. It leaves it entirely up to the device to decide how much of a calendar you're going to have, which controls you're going to have. So the description I just gave you is kind of the way that the current browser that supports it, that Opera displays it, but it really might display totally differently in other devices or other browsers as this become supported. Okay, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to change my input type here to date.

I just want to do a very simple date. Now, inside that I am going to go ahead and give it the name of tripDate. Remember that's the name of this particular form element and we're going to repeat that process with id. We're going to do tripDate for that as well. Finally, we're going to go ahead and give it a tabindex of 50. So we're not setting any additional properties here whatsoever. We're just saying hey, this form element is a date form element. Now, I want to go ahead and save this and I'm going to test it in some other browsers first. I want to test it in Chrome and in Chrome, you can see that really we just get a text field.

So if the browser doesn't support the date input type, you're probably going to get a text field as a fallback. You'll notice that you get exactly the same thing in Safari, although we do get some exposed form controls. They're really not doing anything for us there. And we're getting sort of the same result in Firefox, just a text field. Okay, so hardly impressive., right? Well let's check out a browser that actually does support this. Okay, so here we are in Opera and I am going to scroll down a little bit to define the Date of our trip. Notice if I click this I get a nice little robust calendar control and I can cycle through the months.

I can do through the years. I can choose a specific date, and there it is in the Gregorian format. So that's really, really cool and what you're seeing here is kind of what hopefully other browsers will adopt with this, but keep in mind that how the data is chosen and displayed is totally at this moment up to the device. Now, the addition of the date picker is going to eventually hopefully lessen our reliance on JavaScript libraries for calendar controls, but right now for the time being, as you saw, the lack of support means that you're going to need to provide fallback support for non-supporting browsers if you want to use this element currently.

Other browsers are displaying the date pickers as simple text inputs as we've seen and that might be satisfactory, but I'm going to guess it's not satisfactory if you're going to provide an alternate means of choosing days for those devices. So you're probably still going to need to include some type of fallback to a YUI calendar, or jQuery calendar, or some other type of the library widget. So as you can see these form controls have undergone a significant upgrade in HTML5. As support increases, elements in the specifications such as these date pickers as well as some unsupported elements that we didn't even see like color pickers for example.

They're in the specification, but nobody supports them currently. Those guys are going to allow the creation in more flexible and powerful forms within your applications. So really take a close look at the HTML5 specification and forms in preparation for what it's going to allow you to do as you're building forms within your own web sites and your own applications.

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