[whatwg] Introducing new elements is expensive

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 11 07:57:30 PST 2005

Olav Junker Kjær wrote:
> The "output" element in WF2 shouldn't really be a new element. The 
> semantics and interface are very similar to the input element 
> (especially a input type=text with readonly). I suggest changing 
> <output> to <input type=output>.
> Only important difference is the fallback behavior. An <output> element 
> would not be submitted in a non-WF2 UA, an <input type=output> would, 
> since it would default to <input type=text>. This is not a big deal, 
> though, since we can just avoid giving the field a name attribute.

    I can see where you're coming from, and on some levels I agree, but 
I would point out two things here. The first is obvious: <input> is for 
input. To use an <input> as a way of outputting data to the user is 
semantically backwards.

    The second problem is that the <input> element is typically a 
widget, even when it's of type "text" and read-only. There is no 
guarantee that the chrome of the widget will not display.

    By the way, is there a reason that <output> can't have a |value| 
attribute? What if we want the initial contents on a legacy UA to be 
"Calculation Not Available", or perhaps an <input type="text" readonly> 
element like you suggest? Is this an example of Ian trying to avoid 
<noscript>-style elements?

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