[whatwg] Incremental rendering of forms

Max Romantschuk max at provico.fi
Thu Aug 19 22:14:10 PDT 2004

>>On Thu, 5 Aug 2004, Jim Ley wrote:
>>>I've never seen a persuasive use case for the splitting of form elements
>>>outside their form containers

> On Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:26:27 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>>I have had repeated requests for this from Web authors, and received
>>numerous notes praising the idea since publishing a draft with it in.
>>That's persuasive for me.

Jim Ley wrote:
> But it's not USE CASES, c'mon if you want WHAT-WG to be taken
> seriously, please act seriously and present Use Cases for your
> features, don't just say "yeah loads of people asked for this and
> people praised me"  firstly there's nothing around in public showing
> either the praise or the requests, so whilst we can trust you, it's
> not very serious.
> Writing up Use Cases is also very useful, it's the only real way we
> can see if the solution meets the needs.
> So please, take some time, and write up some use-cases, or maybe some
> other members of the WHAT-WG could do it - they don't seem to be doing
> a whole lot.

Here's a trivial use case / scenario:

If you have a complex form you also have a complex set of layout-related 
markup (given that commercial applications often require unelegant 
solutions due to customer demands).

As long as you have one form on a page there are few or no issues. The 
simple solution is to place the FORM element around whatever is high 
enough in the document tree to enclose all the form's controls.

The situation can change dramatically if you have two forms. If the 
layout is tricky enough finding a way to have the two forms co-exist and 
still keep to the given layout restrictions can be exceedingly difficult.

If form elements can be associated with a form without having to exist 
inside the form one can preserve the semantics and still meet the 
demands placed on the layout.

I realize this is not a proper use case. None the less this is a 
real-world scenario which I have dealt with quite a few times creating 
sites and applications for varous organizations.

I also realize that a scenario like this is no stellar example in UI 
design. One form per page usually makes more sense. Despite of this I 
think we're better off with the option of having controls outside of the 
form than making a huge mess with hidden forms and Javascript meeting 
the demands set by the customer.

I'm sure someone can come up with a better and proper use case, but I 
hope this is better than nothing.


Max Romantschuk

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