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If you're a Web developer, you've probably created an HTML Form before. In fact, you may have created more of them than you care to remember. You're no doubt familiar with classic input types like text, password, file, hidden, checkbox, radio, submit and button, and you've probably used most or all of these at various times.

If I were to ask you what type of input-from the previous list-you use more than any other, you'd probably say "text," as would most of us. The text input type is the multitool of classic HTML Forms development. On the one hand, it's able to adapt to nearly any job you give it, but on the other, it's semantically neutral, so the browser offers no help in turning this element into something practical. To compensate, developers and designers have added their own semantics to these elements (via IDs and class names) and have relied on server frameworks and JavaScript to handle validation and add rich interactions.

A classic example is collecting dates in text fields. Most of the time, you want to enhance a date field with a date picker of some kind. This is often done with hand-rolled JavaScript or a framework like jQuery UI, which adds an interaction behavior that allows the user to select a date from a widget and have that date populated into the original field.



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