A Brief History of People Being Mad About Inputs

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Jonathan Gillette, “Textarea, You Are A Sunken Nothing”, 2004:

Yes, I mean it, Textarea. You are a Sunken Nothing. You have a beveled edge, but you are a worthless thing to jot upon. Bad pad! BAD PAD!!


Do you accept tabs? Oop. Well, my premature article is published now.

You are the most popular text editor. You are the worst text editor. Even Notepad has search and replace. And I can make it bigger and smaller.

Kroc Camen, “Ode to Textarea”, 2011:

Textarea, how do I hate thee?
Let me count the ways…


Fix textarea now. Not later. Not after you’ve shipped some other constantly changing HTML5 feature. Not when someone else does so first. Now. Please accept the responsibility and the scale of the damage your lackadaisical attitude has wrought.

Monica Dinculescu, “<input> I [heart] you, but you’re bringing me down”, 2015:

However, the <input> API isn’t quirky — it’s literally just a jar of spiders, and the moment you open the jar, it’s too late. You’re covered in spiders. Even your cat is a spider now. Better find some fire.


The thing is, browsers have had 21 years to sort out inputs, and they haven’t even managed to agree on how to communicate “you haven’t picked a file”.