[whatwg] input type="country"?

Sander Tekelenburg tekelenb at euronet.nl
Thu Aug 24 09:44:26 PDT 2006

At 08:13 +0000 UTC, on 2006-08-24, Ian Hickson wrote:

> The idea of a control for countries was considered. However, it was
> rejected because I couldn't get agreement from UAs to implement it. They
> cited many of the reasons given in this thread, and some more, such as
> being worried about being sued (like Microsoft was when Windows 95 shipped
> with a country control in the datetime control panel).
> So. For the people who want this: if you want this in the spec, you first
> need to convince the browser vendors to agree to implement something like
> this. Until there are vendors who want to implement it, adding it to the
> spec is a waste of time.

I agree with all the arguments against speccing this, but also this smells
much more like a browser feature to me. I think a much more realistic
approach would be for browser vendors to offer a setting to try to by default
select the user's country when they encounter such a list in a page's form.
Many browsers already offer auto-filling of forms. Along that line it should
be pretty simple to recognise a SELECT list of country names, and within that
list, recognise the string the user has entered in his settings and treat

A good implementation would
- know how to handle different spellings/synonyms (like US/USA, UK/England,
Holland/The Netherlands/Nederland, etc.)
- make proper use of the OS' language/location settings, if available, for
its initial setting, but allow the user to override that (because, for
example, many run their OS in american english even though their location or
nationality may be something else.)

Some people will probably argue that users won't bother to define their
settings for this, but IMO that only means that the user apparently doesn't
care then.

I imagine the quickest way to get an implementation would be in the form of a
Firefox plug-in. Any person who cares enough about this thing can build that
right now, without having to wait for browser vendors. Not only would that
offer this feature to those (Firefox users) who want it, but if done well it
would also be a proof of concept to help convince browser vendors to
implement this.

Sander Tekelenburg, <http://www.euronet.nl/~tekelenb/>

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