[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 submission to W3C

Dean Jackson dean at w3.org
Tue Apr 12 05:40:16 PDT 2005

On 12 Apr 2005, at 20:49, Anne van Kesteren wrote:

> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> FYI, the W3C has just acknowledged receipt of the Web Forms 2.0 draft 
>> that Mozilla and Opera submitted (on behalf of the WHATWG).
>> We'll be publishing another call for comments that takes into account 
>> the technical comments that W3C staff sent to us privately as very 
>> soon.
> I saw a call for comments has already been published but not yet 
> announced. Is that made so people can view the diff for the changes 
> that are made not discussed through this mailing list?
> Is there any specific reason the W3C didn't want to make their 
> comments public?

No specific reason. WF2 is a large specification; It takes
a long time to review in detail. As part of my review process I
came up with a list of technical points, but I didn't want to
put them in the W3C Comment because I was afraid that it would
hide the important point: that Opera, Mozilla and the W3C are
investigating ways to collaborate.

Also, I wanted more people to do thorough technical reviews.
Unfortunately, this takes time and these people are busy.

> Also it seems the W3C has a lot of demands that could slow down the 
> process. Will the call for implementations draft be even more 
> postponed or is it still underway?

Remember that these are not "demands", only suggestions. And we're
not making the suggestions for the W3C, but for the community.
Having said that, I don't think the suggestions are too much
of a burden.

For example, it would have really helped me if there had been
a more comprehensive list of use cases and requirements. It isn't
really clear to me what the exact problems WF2 is trying to solve are,
other than what it says in the introduction (which I could unfairly
characterise as fix some stuff that some people have been complaining
about, to some degree, at some time, on some lists). I'm sure Ian
knows exactly what they are.

This follows on to the suggestion that WHAT consider splitting
(or staging) the specification to separate the bits that are
backwards compatible from the bits that are not. It's quite possible
that I missed the change in goals, but I thought the idea was that
WF2 should "work" in today's browsers (to some definition of "work",
but at least one that says the form should not be unusable without

The bits of WF2 that I see most positive discussion on are <input
type="date|email|etc">. Hixie joked at me a few months ago when we
were discussing entering email addresses into an HTML field using a
mobile device. This stuff is very helpful, and doesn't really
require the user to upgrade her browser or to run script.
Why doesn't WHAT ship those bits now and continue with a WF3?

The suggestion to examine the mapping to XForms was mostly
because I saw a few new features in WF2 that were pretty closely
aligned with existing features in XForms (for example the repeat
stuff, which I see is a candidate for removal from WF2). This wasn't
supposed to be an insult or anything, but it does suggest that
there are some smart people in the XForms world that are trying
to solve similar problems to WF2.

Overall, the intention wasn't to slow down the process.

> Overall it seems like a good thing though.

I think so. Like I said in the comment, the important point for us
is to build a single community for improving forms on the Web.


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