[whatwg] Suggestion for Menus in Web Forms 2.0

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Nov 16 07:16:03 PST 2004

On Mon, 6 Sep 2004, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> On 26 Aug, 2004, at 11:30 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Tue, 10 Aug 2004, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> > ...
> > > Er, really? So in HTML5, what do you propose will be the recommended way
> > > of making these controls invisible in downlevel UAs?
> > > ...
> > > *   <select>
> > > *   <textarea>
> > 
> > Not sure what you are referring to here, these aren't new in HTML5.
> Well, neither is <menu> technically. But my main point is that I don't 
> see why being able to hide <menu>s without CSS is any more of a good 
> idea than being able to hide any of those other interactive elements 
> without CSS.

Because <menu>s have an out-of-band presentation, but <select> and 
<textarea> are expected to render in the content area.

> > > I appreciate that CSS isn't an ideal degradation mechanism, but then 
> > > making something invisible is an odd sort of degradation for an 
> > > interactive element to begin with.
> > 
> > Not if that element wouldn't do anything useful anyway. For example, 
> > you wouldn't want a context menu to degrade to something visible, you 
> > would just not have the context menu feature. ...
> I think that's a bad misjudgement of the average intelligence of Web 
> designers: it assumes that for each item in the shortcut menu, they'll 
> provide alternative access elsewhere. But even developers of native 
> applications (who are likely to be smarter on average, since developing 
> native applications is more difficult) often forget to do this. (For 
> example, a certain browser vendor that shall remain nameless makes it 
> possible to set an image as your Windows wallpaper -- but only if you 
> know of, and are able to use, the shortcut menu.)
> And no, saying "authors should provide alternative access to everything 
> in a hidden-syntax shortcut menu" in the WA spec won't work, just as 
> saying the same in the Mac and Windows UI guidelines hasn't worked for 
> native applications. But at least in Mac OS and Windows it's always 
> *possible* to access the shortcut menu, whereas in WA-ignorant UAs it 
> isn't.

While I understand your concern, note that while the idea is that using 
WHATWG-proposed features must be possible without crippling the legacy UA 
experience, it is not a requirement that it be impossible to write WHATWG- 
based documents that are not functionally equivalent in old UAs.

If your context menu uses WA1-specific features, then in pre-WA1 UAs there 
might not _be_ an equivalent option, and so you just wouldn't want the 
context menu to appear at all.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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