HTML5 Number Input validation is perturbing

I am talking about this for reference:

<input type='number' id='ourtest' />

Did you know according to the HTML5 spec the Number Input validation will cause the value to be read as an empty string if anything but a number is input? So lets suggest a scenario where this sucks: what if I want to allow an empty input OR allow a valid number? Now I can’t do that because if an invalid number is entered and you do something like $(‘#ourtest’).val() it will return and empty string (‘’).

One work around is to set the input to be require and default the value to zero. This will cause anything that is not a number to be read as invalid. However this doesn’t truly accomplish our goal of allowing valid input or no input, now does it?


<input type='number' id='ourtest' value='0' required/>

Fortunately there is also a ‘validity’ attribute on browsers that support the more advanced HTML5 inputs. You can do something like the following to check validity:

function checkNumber(){
	var val = $("#ourtest").val();
	var elem = $("#ourtest");
	if(elem && elem[0] && elem[0].validity){
		// valid
		if(val != '' && elem[0].validity.valid && elem[0].validity.badInput == false) {
			return true;
		// invalid
		} else if(elem[0].validity.valid == false && elem[0].validity.badInput == true){
			return false;
		// empty
		} else {
			return true;
	} else {
                // invalid or validity not supported
		return true;
Written on September 11, 2014