The button element was rediscovered by Kevin Hale of Wufoo and Particletree fame and while reading through the post, thinking I gave you feedback during the Wufoo beta about the button element and it took you this long to see its’ advantages. I started reading the comments, one comment from Russell Beattie stopped me in my tracks.
Just to expand on the above comment about problems with WindowsCE/PocketPC – it’s not just those devices, but all mobile browsers that conform to the XHTML-MP (mobile profile) standard because (presumably) it’s based on XHTML-Basic, which doesn’t include the button element. I tested this on a couple phones I have and sure enough, the button elements aren’t even displayed.
I checked with my mobile and the button element failed, images and text inside the element displayed, but the button failed to work. So I read the XHTML-MP specifications (PDF) and sure enough the form support is only for :
There is also limited support for fieldset and optgroup.
Last year I championed the button element, going as far a doing a presentation on button the forgotten element to the Perth WSG. Now I will strongly counsel against using the button element because it is not supported in mobile browsers and mobile are a big part of the future of the web.
I will change my position about the button element once it is supported by the majority of mobile browsers, but until then do not use the button element.