[whatwg] Re: <output> and onforminput

Malcolm Rowe malcolm-what at farside.org.uk
Tue Jun 22 02:55:41 PDT 2004

Jim Ley writes: 

>> I think you are reading way too much into "backwards compatible".
>> HTML4+ECMAScript is "backwards compatible" with Lynx.
> Sure it is, but HTML4 + WF2 is not - since you're over constraining
> things like datetime which mean they do not work in a non-WF2 browser
> without particularly aware users.

How is a WF2 <input type=datetime> control any different to a HTML4 page 
containing a simple input control and a script that verifies that the date 
is in a particular formant?  If you agree that HTML4+ECMAScript degrades, 
then HTML4+WF2 degrades in a similar fashion. In both cases, the server has 
to accept 'invalid' data (either from a non-scripting or non-WF2 client, 
respectively), and deal with it (presumably by returning an error page). 

With the exception of the repetition model, which I've raised some concern 
about in a long post in another thread, I believe that all of the other WF2 
functionality degrades to something sensible; that is, while a document with 
WF2 controls might not be 'easy to use' in a legacy browser, it's not 
significantly harder than a HTML4 forms document. 

I personally believe that Web Forms 2 must work in lynx. Forget IE6 
'compatibility/extension libraries' - if we get the model right, most 
HTML4+WF2 documents will be accessible to lynx users. 

That's not to say that you couldn't write a WF2 document that doesn't work 
in {lynx, Mozilla, Opera, IE}, of course you could; but no feature should, a 
priori, be unusable if accessed with a non-WF2 client. 

The repetition model is the only part of the spec that I'm aware of that is 
completely unusable if you have a non-WF2 non-DOM-supporting client. Are you 
aware of any others? 


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