[whatwg] modal and modeless windows

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Jun 27 05:59:07 PDT 2005

Matthew Raymond wrote:

> Karl Pongratz wrote:
>> Let's take the subscription page in case that we would have a modal 
>> window. You would still browse to the subscription page, though it 
>> wouldn't have any form field on it, instead there is a link "Click 
>> here to subscribe", clicking on it opens a modal window (smaller than 
>> the main window), which contains the form fields for the 
>> subscription. Fill in the form, submit it, show some "Thank you for 
>> your subscription", that's it, then close the window manually.
>> You may not want to do that for very simple forms like a subscription 
>> page, but it becomes very handy for complex forms where you use a lot 
>> of DHTML, AJAX, Xforms or whatsoever. As far as I know, AJAX 
>> applications break your web browser history, though if you do the 
>> complex AJAX part, let's say a complex Wizard, inside a modal window 
>> then it wont break you web browser history, and you wont have pages 
>> in your web browser history which shouldn't be there anyway.
>    If you have AJAX, why not submit form data via XMLHttpRequest 
> rather than changing the current URL? That way, there is no back 
> button within the context of navigating the application.

Indeed, that seems like a reasonable solution that doesn't require
multiple types of window (and fits the general HTTP model quite well
since a single web-app can be seen as a single resource accessible
through a single URL). There are various other pieces of technology in
the spec that make this sort of thing even easier (server-sent DOM
events, for example, so a system for the server to push data to the
client as necessary is easy to set up). Of course all this javascript
the downside that accessibility is hard to get right.

"But if science you say still sounds too deep,
Just do what Beaker does, just shrug and 'Meep!'"

-- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker of Muppet Labs

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