[whatwg] Order of repeating blocks; other misc comments

Stuart Ballard sballard at netreach.com
Mon Jun 28 05:30:55 PDT 2004

As I understand the current draft, the only way to determine the order 
that individual blocks appeared in a form submission is the order that 
they occur in the posted data. This doesn't work well with existing 
server-side systems, where that information is often unavailable. It 
seems to me that working with existing server-side technology is just as 
important for adoption as working with existing client-side tech.

If I've missed a way to do this that already exists, ignore this 
comment. Otherwise, a couple of proposals on how it could be implemented:

Proposal #1:
   For each instantiation of the template, the instantiation itself 
contains an implied successful form control with the name 
(templateId).(index).position, eg (for the example in section 3.1 of the 
draft) "order.1.position". The index here is the same index used for 
other form controls in the record. The value of this form control is the 
position that this record has been moved to by 'up' and 'down' buttons.

Proposal #2:
   <input type="repeat-position"> acts just like <input type="hidden"> 
but automatically populates with the position of the closest containing 
repeating block. (This has the disadvantage that it doesn't work too 
well on downlevel clients)

Another issue: I didn't see a way to initially populate the *values* of 
form fields in repetition blocks. If you're manipulating an order form, 
it's quite possible, if not likely, that the form has some initial data 
that needs to appear. It's not clear from the draft whether it's 
permitted to actually fill in the contents of the initial state of 
repetition blocks (if it is, that raises all sorts of other questions, 
like what if the initial content doesn't match the template) but if it 
isn't, how do you initially populate the form fields?

(please CC me on replies, as I'm not on the list)


Stuart Ballard, Senior Web Developer
NetReach, Inc.
(215) 283-2300, ext. 126

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