[whatwg] Web Forms 2.0 - select element

Jon Levell whatwg at coralbark.net
Sun Oct 16 02:06:00 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, Jon Levell wrote:
>>A simple use-case for this is a web-based email program. With the inbox 
>>shown, messages can be marked as selected with check-boxes then actions 
>>applied to the selection with a select box. If 5 messages are selected 
>>and then say "marked as important" and then 2 more messages are selected 
>>and then the operation is repeated the onchange handler is not called.
> This is inappropriate use of a <select>. On the long term, the <menu> 
> features of WA1 will hopefully address your need more directly. On the 
> short term, I would recommend simply setting the value of the <select> 
> back to a neutral default in onblur="", or something along those lines.
You are right, on reflection that isn't such a good use case but I do
maintain that there are good use cases for it. Slightly less familiar
than an email app hence I (wrongly) used that one first. The actual
situation I want to use it in is as follows.

I have a dynamic web page that represents a table in a relational
database. Each row in the table is a row on the page. Some columns refer
to other tables, these columns have a select box at the top of the page
containing a list of all the values that entries in this column could be
changed to. If rows are selected and then a value in the select box is
chosen then that value is set for all selected rows.

The values shown in the select box will vary as you navigate around the
database - I don't think the <menu> is appropriate - it could be very
long and will vary when you have a similar view of two different tables.
I don't think I'd use it in a desktop program.

Setting the value to a neutral default with onblur="" is better but
still not ideal - the list could be long and common options are likely
to be grouped together (if the target database table is organised).

I admit that such use cases are much rarer - are they worth bothering
about at such a late stage - or do you think my usage here is
inappropriate as well?

Jon Levell.

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