[whatwg] Suggestion for Menus in Web Forms 2.0

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 24 03:41:03 PDT 2004

David Hyatt wrote:

> Note that there are really two kinds of menus... DHTML popup menus that 
> should support CSS styles and be similar to DHTML menus on the Web today

   It's hard to tell by the structure of your email, but I think you 
mean that the two kinds of menus are standard menus and popup menus. It 
should be noted that my previous sample code did not take popup menus 
into consideration. To be honest, I kinda like the way XUL does popup 
menus. In XUL, everything's done in XML. Here's an example I stole from 


   <popup id="clipmenu">
     <menuitem label="Cut"/>
     <menuitem label="Copy"/>
     <menuitem label="Paste"/>

<box context="clipmenu">
   <description value="Context click for menu"/>


    I have a slightly simpler idea, which I'll come to in a moment.

> (I believe these should be specifiable just on <ul>/<li> entirely using 
> CSS, e.g., with new display types).

    I presume you mean using pure CSS menus in combination with Dean 
Edwards' IE7.

    [Matthew thinks about it for a moment...]

    Yeah, I'll buy that. It doesn't provide a solution for keyboard 
shortcuts and the lot, but then you'd have to deal with conflicts with 
the browser menus anyway. The only problem here is that we'd still need 
Javascript and DOM to get popups working. In that regard, I have the 
following idea:


<div style="display: none; margins: 0px">
   <div id="myContextMenu">
     ...Menu Stuff...

<span context="myContextMenu">Hello World!</span>


    The way this works is simple. When you right-click (or whatever 
click you use to get a context menu in your OS) anywhere inside the 
<span> element, the element with the ID specified in the context 
attribute temporarily becomes the child of the <span>. When the 
temporary child element is clicked or looses focus, it's automatically 
returned to its original parent. The context attribute could be 
specified in just about any element and would work in a similar way. If 
someone tries to use this feature maliciously to block access to the 
browser context menus, the user could simply use popup blocking to 
disable the context attribute.

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