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4.10.17 The meter element

Categories:
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Labelable element.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content, but there must be no meter element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
value
min
max
low
high
optimum
DOM interface:
interface HTMLMeterElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute double value;
           attribute double min;
           attribute double max;
           attribute double low;
           attribute double high;
           attribute double optimum;
  readonly attribute NodeList labels;
};

The meter element represents a scalar measurement within a known range, or a fractional value; for example disk usage, the relevance of a query result, or the fraction of a voting population to have selected a particular candidate.

This is also known as a gauge.

The meter element should not be used to indicate progress (as in a progress bar). For that role, HTML provides a separate progress element.

The meter element also does not represent a scalar value of arbitrary range — for example, it would be wrong to use this to report a weight, or height, unless there is a known maximum value.

There are six attributes that determine the semantics of the gauge represented by the element.

The min attribute specifies the lower bound of the range, and the max attribute specifies the upper bound. The value attribute specifies the value to have the gauge indicate as the "measured" value.

The other three attributes can be used to segment the gauge's range into "low", "medium", and "high" parts, and to indicate which part of the gauge is the "optimum" part. The low attribute specifies the range that is considered to be the "low" part, and the high attribute specifies the range that is considered to be the "high" part. The optimum attribute gives the position that is "optimum"; if that is higher than the "high" value then this indicates that the higher the value, the better; if it's lower than the "low" mark then it indicates that lower values are better, and naturally if it is in between then it indicates that neither high nor low values are good.

Authoring requirements: The value attribute must be specified. The value, min, low, high, max, and optimum attributes, when present, must have values that are valid floating point numbers.

In addition, the attributes' values are further constrained:

Let value be the value attribute's number.

If the min attribute attribute is specified, then let minimum be that attribute's value; otherwise, let it be zero.

If the max attribute attribute is specified, then let maximum be that attribute's value; otherwise, let it be 1.0.

The following inequalities must hold, as applicable:

If no minimum or maximum is specified, then the range is assumed to be 0..1, and the value thus has to be within that range.

Authors are encouraged to include a textual representation of the gauge's state in the element's contents, for users of user agents that do not support the meter element.

The following examples show three gauges that would all be three-quarters full:

Storage space usage: <meter value=6 max=8>6 blocks used (out of 8 total)</meter>
Voter turnout: <meter value=0.75><img alt="75%" src="graph75.png"></meter>
Tickets sold: <meter min="0" max="100" value="75"></meter>

The following example is incorrect use of the element, because it doesn't give a range (and since the default maximum is 1, both of the gauges would end up looking maxed out):

<p>The grapefruit pie had a radius of <meter value=12>12cm</meter>
and a height of <meter value=2>2cm</meter>.</p> <!-- BAD! -->

Instead, one would either not include the meter element, or use the meter element with a defined range to give the dimensions in context compared to other pies:

<p>The grapefruit pie had a radius of 12cm and a height of
2cm.</p>
<dl>
 <dt>Radius: <dd> <meter min=0 max=20 value=12>12cm</meter>
 <dt>Height: <dd> <meter min=0 max=10 value=2>2cm</meter>
</dl>

There is no explicit way to specify units in the meter element, but the units may be specified in the title attribute in free-form text.

The example above could be extended to mention the units:

<dl>
 <dt>Radius: <dd> <meter min=0 max=20 value=12 title="centimeters">12cm</meter>
 <dt>Height: <dd> <meter min=0 max=10 value=2 title="centimeters">2cm</meter>
</dl>

User agent requirements: User agents must parse the min, max, value, low, high, and optimum attributes using the rules for parsing floating point number values.

User agents must then use all these numbers to obtain values for six points on the gauge, as follows. (The order in which these are evaluated is important, as some of the values refer to earlier ones.)

The minimum value

If the min attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the minimum value is that value. Otherwise, the minimum value is zero.

The maximum value

If the max attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the candidate maximum value is that value. Otherwise, the candidate maximum value is 1.0.

If the candidate maximum value is greater than or equal to the minimum value, then the maximum value is the candidate maximum value. Otherwise, the maximum value is the same as the minimum value.

The actual value

If the value attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then that value is the candidate actual value. Otherwise, the candidate actual value is zero.

If the candidate actual value is less than the minimum value, then the actual value is the minimum value.

Otherwise, if the candidate actual value is greater than the maximum value, then the actual value is the maximum value.

Otherwise, the actual value is the candidate actual value.

The low boundary

If the low attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the candidate low boundary is that value. Otherwise, the candidate low boundary is the same as the minimum value.

If the candidate low boundary is less than the minimum value, then the low boundary is the minimum value.

Otherwise, if the candidate low boundary is greater than the maximum value, then the low boundary is the maximum value.

Otherwise, the low boundary is the candidate low boundary.

The high boundary

If the high attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the candidate high boundary is that value. Otherwise, the candidate high boundary is the same as the maximum value.

If the candidate high boundary is less than the low boundary, then the high boundary is the low boundary.

Otherwise, if the candidate high boundary is greater than the maximum value, then the high boundary is the maximum value.

Otherwise, the high boundary is the candidate high boundary.

The optimum point

If the optimum attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the candidate optimum point is that value. Otherwise, the candidate optimum point is the midpoint between the minimum value and the maximum value.

If the candidate optimum point is less than the minimum value, then the optimum point is the minimum value.

Otherwise, if the candidate optimum point is greater than the maximum value, then the optimum point is the maximum value.

Otherwise, the optimum point is the candidate optimum point.

All of which will result in the following inequalities all being true:

UA requirements for regions of the gauge: If the optimum point is equal to the low boundary or the high boundary, or anywhere in between them, then the region between the low and high boundaries of the gauge must be treated as the optimum region, and the low and high parts, if any, must be treated as suboptimal. Otherwise, if the optimum point is less than the low boundary, then the region between the minimum value and the low boundary must be treated as the optimum region, the region from the low boundary up to the high boundary must be treated as a suboptimal region, and the remaining region must be treated as an even less good region. Finally, if the optimum point is higher than the high boundary, then the situation is reversed; the region between the high boundary and the maximum value must be treated as the optimum region, the region from the high boundary down to the low boundary must be treated as a suboptimal region, and the remaining region must be treated as an even less good region.

UA requirements for showing the gauge: When representing a meter element to the user, the UA should indicate the relative position of the actual value to the minimum and maximum values, and the relationship between the actual value and the three regions of the gauge.

The following markup:

<h3>Suggested groups</h3>
<menu type="toolbar">
 <a href="?cmd=hsg" onclick="hideSuggestedGroups()">Hide suggested groups</a>
</menu>
<ul>
 <li>
  <p><a href="/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets/view">comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets</a> -
     <a href="/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets/subscribe">join</a></p>
  <p>Group description: <strong>Layout/presentation on the WWW.</strong></p>
  <p><meter value="0.5">Moderate activity,</meter> Usenet, 618 subscribers</p>
 </li>
 <li>
  <p><a href="/group/netscape.public.mozilla.xpinstall/view">netscape.public.mozilla.xpinstall</a> -
     <a href="/group/netscape.public.mozilla.xpinstall/subscribe">join</a></p>
  <p>Group description: <strong>Mozilla XPInstall discussion.</strong></p>
  <p><meter value="0.25">Low activity,</meter> Usenet, 22 subscribers</p>
 </li>
 <li>
  <p><a href="/group/mozilla.dev.general/view">mozilla.dev.general</a> -
     <a href="/group/mozilla.dev.general/subscribe">join</a></p>
  <p><meter value="0.25">Low activity,</meter> Usenet, 66 subscribers</p>
 </li>
</ul>

Might be rendered as follows:

With the <meter> elements rendered as inline green bars of varying lengths.

User agents may combine the value of the title attribute and the other attributes to provide context-sensitive help or inline text detailing the actual values.

For example, the following snippet:

<meter min=0 max=60 value=23.2 title=seconds></meter>

...might cause the user agent to display a gauge with a tooltip saying "Value: 23.2 out of 60." on one line and "seconds" on a second line.

The value IDL attribute, on getting, must return the actual value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the number as a floating point number and then the value content attribute must be set to that string.

The min IDL attribute, on getting, must return the minimum value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the number as a floating point number and then the min content attribute must be set to that string.

The max IDL attribute, on getting, must return the maximum value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the number as a floating point number and then the max content attribute must be set to that string.

The low IDL attribute, on getting, must return the low boundary. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the number as a floating point number and then the low content attribute must be set to that string.

The high IDL attribute, on getting, must return the high boundary. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the number as a floating point number and then the high content attribute must be set to that string.

The optimum IDL attribute, on getting, must return the optimum value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the number as a floating point number and then the optimum content attribute must be set to that string.

The labels attribute provides a list of the element's labels.

The following example shows how a gauge could fall back to localized or pretty-printed text.

<p>Disk usage: <meter min=0 value=170261928 max=233257824>170 261 928 bytes used
out of 233 257 824 bytes available</meter></p>