[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 methods and enctypes

Asbjørn Ulsberg asbjorn at tigerstaden.no
Sun Jul 4 06:48:14 PDT 2004

Hi, I first have to admit that I haven't read the whole Web Forms 2.0  
specification, but I've searched and browsed through it, and couldn't find  
anything on the topic, so I e-mail this list to see if my impression is  

I am an active member of the Atom WG[1], and we are trying to create a  
specification for a syndication format and API. In the API, we strive to  
use standard RESTful mechanisms to get the most out of the web, and would  
like to support as many servers and clients as possible. As one  
consequence, we would very much like to support HTML forms as a client for  
the Atom API, but that is impossible today.

In the HTML 4 specification; forms section[2], the allowed HTTP methods  
for '@method' is defined as GET or POST. To make it worse, it also  
defines[3] only two allowable '@enctype' values;  
'application/x-www-form-urlencoded' and 'multipart/form-data'. The Atom  
API utilizes the additional HTTP methods PUT and DELETE as well, which  
makes HTML forms useless as Atom API clients. But I hoped the Web Forms  
2.0 specification could help us fix this.

Would it be possible for Web Forms 2.0 to allow at least PUT and DELETE in  
addition to GET and POST as methods for the <form> element? Would it also  
be possible that the Web Forms 2.0 specification allowed additional  
'@enctype' values, like 'application/atom+xml'? This would give a regular  
browser the opportunity to be a full-fleshed Atom API client, which would  
be really great for both the Atom specification, web users and Atom API  

What does the WHAT WG have to say about this? Is it possible to extend the  
list of methods and enctypes?

[1] <url: http://www.intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/FrontPage>
[2] <url: http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/forms.html#h-17.3>
[3] <url: http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/forms.html#form-content-type>

Asbjørn Ulsberg         -=|=-        asbjornu at hotmail.com
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»

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