[whatwg] Web Apps 1.0: On-line help
ian at hixie.ch
Tue May 10 00:58:03 PDT 2005
On Mon, 9 May 2005, Dean Edwards wrote:
> > Unless someone can come up with a way to make discoverability
> > practical and usable, there is no point us having [help].
> It is not all about user agents. I once had to build a web application
> with extensive context sensitive help. The app even recalled common
> entries for data fields. To make it work we invented an attribute called
> "helpID". If the "help" attribute were defined we would have used that
I don't see anything wrong with a Web application using custom attributes
(preferably clearly prefixed or in a custom namespace) to store
information like this. But I don't see the value in making the attribute
for such a case standard. It would restrict what you could do with it, for
one -- say the Web app wanted to store just a number for the help. Or just
a URI. Or two URIs. Or an IDREF. Or a string. If we had an attribute, we'd
have to define what it was, thus either blocking innovation, or using up
an attribute for no good reason.
> [...reasons why the things I listed might work sometimes...]
Yes, all the things I listed are plausible solutions, that's why I listed
them. But they're not good _enough_, IMHO.
> I think that a help attribute is useful in the realm of web
> applications. Applications tend to be more complex than web documents. A
> good application is sometimes only as good as its help system. Even if
> UAs make nothing of it, web developers would have a standard attribute
> to hook their own help systems from.
I don't see the advantage of having a standard way of doing something
non-standard. It wouldn't improve interoperability.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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