[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 - Comments on sections 1 and 2

Laurens Holst lholst at students.cs.uu.nl
Thu Jun 10 15:28:04 PDT 2004

Ian Hickson wrote:
>>The pattern attribute
>>The problem is obviously that title serves a clear purpose right now and
>>is fairly unrestrictive; I think using title for this would make people
> I'm not sure if you're saying that I should change the spec or not! :-)
> I liked the idea of using title="" rather than a new attribute, because
> then it would benefit legacy users too -- on browsers with no support for
> pattern="", you still get the tooltip saying what the pattern should be.

Well, "IMHO, title is ok." I said, so no. But I agree it is a difficult 
issue. I thought maybe my longwinded contemplation on the issue might 
spring a good idea in your mind :), or something :).

About it being compatible for legacy users... I think Web Forms 2.0 will 
not be very compatible with that anyway :). But, if it's 'title' there 
is more chance of it actually working in browsers not paying too much 
attention to the implementation of the details (think ABBR and ACRONYM 
in IE - the latter actually *works* because IE didn't implement it -_-;;).

>>required attribute applies to all controls except radio buttons
>>What about radio buttons in sets where none of the buttons are marked as
>>checked? I really think this should apply to those as well.
> The problem is, which control do you put it on?

Any of the grouped radio buttons will do?

>>autofocus... true???
>>I think it's weird that you are specifically recommending to use <input
>>autofocus="true">, while you there is no such remark at <input required>
>>(or <input required="required"> for xhtml). For that matter, <input
>>autocomplete="off"> is also not very consistent. These are all booleans.
>>I think they should therefore also 'work' the same. I can understand
>>this not the case for autocomplete because of legacy support, but the
>>other two...
> Well, checked="checked" is for back compat, and autocomplete="off" is for
> back compat.
> People complained about having to write required="required" in XHTML,
> which is why I made it autofocus="true" instead of autofocus="autofocus".
> Which do people prefer?
> I've changed to to autofocus="autofocus" for now, although autofocus=""
> (or "true") would also work with the current definition.

Ok, better I think. XHTML sets this convention for boolean HTML 
attributes: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#C_10 ... As boolean attributes 
in this form aren't something uncommon in HTML I don't see why you 
shouldn't use them.

>>By the way, it says "The following must not cause the autofocus
>>attribute to be set: <input autofocus>"... Why not? That is exactly how
>>other booleans such as checked and required work in HTML, and (unless
>>I'm totally wrong about this) they appear to the HTML processor as if it
>>were XML with 'attribute="attribute"', right? That's why XHTML needs you
>>to write attributes without value like that.
> It was not allowed because actually
> Now, however, that the value is the same as the attribute name, the value
> can be omitted.

Aha. Interesting (and weird at the same time :)).

>>The help attribute
>>I clearly see a use for this in combination with CSS3 attribute
>>selectors, :hover, :after and generated content (kay twould be a bit of
>>a complex selector, but heh :) those are the fun ones).
> I don't really see that it would be that useful even in those cases. You
> want a whole URI for would effectively just be a big clumsy tooltip?

Hum, yeah... that's what it would basically be, I guess...

> You misread it. The XForms "hint" attribute is "title" in HTML.

Oh, ah.

>>Finally, "to show that it would be trivial to add to HTML as well"
>>doesn't really express a very good reason to add the attribute. If that
>>were the only reason, to show off, then it might as well not be there.
> Exactly. I'm still thinking it should be removed.

Well... I think I agree then it is pretty much a bit useless bloat. I 
can't imagine any user agent is actually going to implement it in its 
controls. As for using it with CSS or something... Then one might as 
well, and probably would, just add a link to a popup window, or put in 
some hover effect using css and a span or something, or something with 
JavaScript... It isn't really *useful*.

> Thanks for the comments!

The WHATWG is an interesting development, I am looking forward to see 
what it brings us. I agree that standards bodies are sometimes a bit 
'detached' from the real world. Common column layouts are stupendously 
difficult in CSS... Or why in hell did the ISO-8601 guys choose a 'T' as 
a seperator between date and time (as in 2004-06-10T21:20:50+02:00), 
no-one is going to accept that commonly! The rest of the notation is 
pretty ok, imho, but that 'T'-thing...

Note that I'm here completely going along with the current 'standards 
bodies bashing trend' which has emerged lately ;p. In any case, ah, 
interesting times... ;p Can't wait to see the final version of this Web 
Forms 2.0 implemented in the major browsers (except you-know-who) 
because it definately offers interesting new capabilities.


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!

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