[whatwg] Spellchecking proposal #2

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Mon Jun 26 09:53:05 PDT 2006

On Jun 25, 2006, at 11:59 PM, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> ...
>> But realistically, browsers won't "allow the user to easily override 
>> it if they want to", because any interface for doing that would be 
>> absurd.
> ...
> * Status bar icon/text that indicates if spell checking is on or off, 
> and if on, whether or not there are any errors (similar to that found 
> in Microsoft Word).
> * Toolbar button used to toggle spell checking on or off and indicate 
> it's state.
> * Context menu item (Opera already has this)
> * Floating toolbar that displays (possibly docked to one side of the 
> text area) when the textarea has focus, with buttons for things like: 
> spell checking, find and replace, cut, copy, paste, etc.

Okay, I should have said "any interface for doing that will be either 
absurd, or so invisible as to make the feature seem like random 
flakiness". Though commendable, your first and third suggestions are 
the latter; your second and fourth, and Alexey's attempt, the former.

> I'm sure there are other people that know a lot more about UI design 
> than I do, who could come up with some really creative and usable.

The problem is not with which GUI controls you choose; it's with the 
amount of attention demanded by the underlying situation. Spellchecking 
would seemingly be turning itself off for a completely non-obvious 
reason; and to make it obvious, you would have to make the 
spellchecking feature more prominent than its importance permits.

Perhaps a useful analogy: HTML5 is about making Web applications 
easier, and in Web applications dataloss often results from going back 
to previous pages, so there should be a backbuttonallowed= attribute 
that can be set to "false" for the <html> element. And we'll let the 
user easily override it if they want to.

Matthew Paul Thomas

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