[whatwg] Comments to Web Forms 2.0 downloaded 2004-09-18 (HTML email)

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Dec 8 15:39:30 PST 2004

On Sun, 21 Nov 2004, Mattias Waldau wrote:
> I do not really know how to respond to this!
> How can you say that "I don't read HTML mail.". A lot of other people do 
> and once email programs get their security act together, probably 
> everyone will. And if someone should work for this, it should be you, 
> Ian!

HTML mail is a pain. I don't intend to do anything to encourage it. It's 
complete overkill for the kind of communication that e-mail involves.

> All I want is to be able to send a receipt that looks exactly like the 
> webpage, and I cannot see why that should be forbidden.

It isn't so much that it should be forbidden, so much as it doesn't make 
sense. The receipt you get from a restaurant doesn't look like the menu, 
the receipt you get from a mail-order company doesn't look like the order 
form, etc. It simply doesn't makes sense to use a checkbox control (which 
is by design an _input_ control) when you want to report a state (that is, 
give an _output_).

This isn't just my opinion, by the way; most user interface toolkits 
simply have no way to make radio buttons and checkboxes readonly without 
disabling them. The concept simply doesn't make sense for buttons.

> And how can you say "This is poor UI." This is a religious statement and 
> you should not be the judge on design principles of web forms. If you 
> really think that, you should remove the readonly property for ordinary 
> text boxes too.

For ordinary text boxes, it makes some sense, because it is possible to 
interact with the control without editing it, and without confusing the 
user as to what they are doing.

(To be honest, in a Web environment, it doesn't make _that_ much sense, 
because you can interact with all text. If it wasn't for backwards 
compatibility, removing "readonly" altogether might well be considered.)

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

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