[whatwg] Spellchecking proposal #2

Sander Tekelenburg tekelenb at euronet.nl
Thu Jun 22 16:26:31 PDT 2006

At 16:04 +0000 UTC, on 2006-06-22, Ian Hickson wrote:



> Authors should set the document's language information, to enable user
> agents to accurately determine which dictionary to use when checking
> the spelling or grammar of user input.

IMO this "should" should be a "must". We're going see truckloads of sites
that have spellcheck=on, simply because authoring tools will insert it by
default, that don't bother to specify a language. The user-agent will then
have to revert to the local default language, which can be a serious problem
for all those milions whose default language is something else than the
webpage's language and who allow spellcheck to be on. If you make this a
"must", that would make it easier for authors to recognise their mistake (by
using a validator) and it would allow user-agents to be smarter in such cases
-- they could for instance allow the user to configure the user-agent such
that spellcheck is on by default, but disabled when a webpage's language is
unknown. It would (hopefully) also make it clear to user-agent authors that
they will need to offer users a method to quickly and easily change the
spellchecker's language, without thereby changing the default settings.

> All elements can have spellchecking enabled or disabled. UAs may allow
> the user to set this flag

Why "may"? Why not "must"? Given that the argument for the spellcheck
attribute appears to be "to aid users"... If you allow user-agents to
implement a spellcheck attribute the user has no control over, you're handing
control to authors. That's generally a bad idea on the Net, but it's
especially bad in a case like this.

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

More information about the whatwg mailing list