[whatwg] Syntax Highlighting [was: several messages]

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Dec 3 17:22:46 PST 2004

On Tue, 9 Nov 2004, James Graham wrote:
> > On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, James Graham wrote:
> >  
> > > So something that would roughly work: Add an optional dataformat 
> > > (better name?) attribute that takes a URI. For XML formats, this 
> > > will typically be the namespace of the format, for other formats it 
> > > must simply be globally unique. Additionally, specify a set of 
> > > string -> URI mappings for common formats such as HTML, XHTML and 
> > > others so they may be identified by the shorter string (which must 
> > > not be a valid URI) rather than the long URI. The behavior of the UA 
> > > in response to the presence of the attribute is not specified.
> >
> > The problem with this is I imagine UAs would probably just end up 
> > doing nothing, and we'd be back to where we are now.
> The details of that suggestion were way too complex. But replace all the 
> rubbish about URIs with 'allow an optional attribute specifying the MIME 
> type of the data type expected in the textarea'. Since many browsers use 
> text editing components that already support features such as syntax 
> highlighting (or, I would be surprised if they don't)

They don't. At least, none of the browsers I know about have syntax 
highlighting editors of that kind, as far as I know.

> very plausible that at least some browsers would make use of this 
> attribute to provide a better text editing experience. Since many 
> applications (e.g. CMS systems) require the input of specific data types 
> (html) in text areas, this could be a big usability win for any browser 
> that implements it. Clearly syntax highlighting is not the only 
> possibility - a spellchecker could be set up to ignore certian data 
> types or certian poritions of the text in a particular data type.

Given that UAs haven't generally done even basic spell-checking, I don't 
feel confident that they would do this. I certainly don't feel confident 
enough to put this in the current versions of the spec.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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