[whatwg] [wf2] Late comments and questions on Web Forms 2.0

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Wed Mar 8 11:36:23 PST 2006

These are based on the 2006-01-10 version.

Source level
The language is en-GB-hixie not en-GB-x-Hixie (as defined in Hixie  
English 1.0-pre38 :-).

1.9. (and elsewhere)
It appears that "conformant" is not generally accepted in  
dictionaries. ("Conforming" is.)

1.9. & 2.5.
The spec does not have a spec-wide clarification on what is meant by  
a character. Also, maxlength is defined in terms of code points and  
not DOMString (UTF-16) code units. Is this intentional?

1.10. & 2.3.
Cursory testing indicates that IE6 does not do Unicode case folding  
when eg. checking the value of the type attribute on the input  
element. This suggests an interop problem. As far as document  
conformance goes, can the values that browsers are required to  
compare case-insensitively be required to be lower case or at least  
confined to the Basic Latin block (i.e. no Turkish i)? Any difference  
between HTML and XHTML?

In my opinion (considering RFC 2616), servers should not require a  
Referer header in a "trusted host" check but should only reject  
requests with a Referer header that has an undesirable value.

"User agents may establish a button in each form as being the form's  
default button. (This should be the first submit button in the form,  
but UAs may pick another button if another would be more appropriate  
for the platform.)"

That is problematic, because then the author cannot know which button  
will be treated as the default button.

How is stepping over leap seconds expected to handled? Suppose the  
value of a datetime field is 2006-01-01T00:00:00Z and the step has  
been set to one day (86400). The user takes a step down. Is the  
correct value then 2005-12-31T00:00:01Z or 2005-12-31T00:00:00Z? I  
have no idea how this issue is usually dealt with in software. How  
can libraries released at different times have the same notion of the  
discretionary decisions of some bureau? To me it seems that leap  
seconds are a can of worms and more trouble than they are worth, but  
sadly they seem to be an official part of UTC.

Does ISO 8601 define how its flavor of the Gregorian calendar rolls  
backwards all the way to, say, 1900 or 1 AD?

If the specified value of the value attribute does not conform to the  
datatype and is not "", is it proper to consider the document non- 
conforming? (I'd say this would be useful for quality assurance of  
the initial state of forms but would be violated when round-tripping  
data to a non-WF2 UA.)


Is it conforming to have leading zeros in a year that fills four  
digit slots? E.g. 00002006-03-08T00:00:00Z

"A field with a max less than its min can never fulfill both  
conditions when it has a value (since that value will always either  
underflow or overflow the allowed range) and thus must block its  
forms from being submitted. This does not make the document non- 

Why doesn't it make the document non-conforming?

"Authors should include a description of the pattern in the title  

How does that requirement on authors relate to checking document  
conformance? It seems to be of the same ilk as requiring alt.

The prose does not say that 'required' is a boolean attribute.

The prose says "space-separated". Since the usual SGML and XML  
convention is to use tokens separated by one or more white-space  
characters and preceded and trailed by zero or more white-space  
characters, I'd like to see more precise prose that makes it clear  
whether the convention is followed or if "separated by a single U 
+0020 character with no space before or after" is meant.

"In other words, form controls and fieldsets must be associated with  
the forms given in their form attribute, or, if they don't have one,  
must be associated with the nearest ancestor form element or the  
forms given in the form attribute of the nearest fieldset element  
with a form attribute, whichever is the nearest. If none of those  
apply, the element is not associated with any form."

That paragraph presumable makes statements about UA behavior but the  
formulation look like statements about document conformance.

"If a form is specified multiple times in the form  attribute, all  
occurrences but the first must be ignored. (An element can only be  
associated with a form once.)"

Are multiple occurrences non-conforming from the document conformance  
point of view?

"This attribute is defined to be exactly equivalent to the inputmode  
attribute defined in the XForms 1.0 specification (sections E1  
through E3.2) [XForms]."

"inputmode" linked to WF 2.0 inputmode. Should be linked to inputmode  
in the XForms spec.

2.12. & elsewhere

Are dangling id references non-conforming? (I hope they are.)


"(If the value of defaultValue is queried before the entire element's  
contents have been parsed, or if the element was created dynamically  
(as opposed to being inserted into the DOM by the UA's parser), then  
defaultValue must return the empty string.)"

Does textContent guarantee such behavior in mid-parse?


"Authors should always specify a cols attribute when the wrap  
attribute is set to hard."

Should violating a 'should' like that be considered a conformance  
error in terms of document conformance?


"Authors may include an accept  attribute on textarea elements to  
indicate the type of content expected. User agents may use this  
attribute to provide more appropriate editors, syntax highlighting,  
spelling checkers, etc. The value of the attribute must be a single  
text-based MIME type (for example, text/plain, message/news, image/svg 

Are MIME type parameters allowed? If image/svg+xml is on the example  
list, shouldn't application/xml be as well to emphasize that it is  
not about text/*?


'range   := "*/*" | type "/*" | subtype "/" type'

Looks like it should read
range   := "*/*" | type "/*" | type "/" subtype


"These names, and their exact semantics, differ from those of the  
equivalent attribute in XForms 1.0 (the replace attribute on the  
submission element)."

"replace" links to WF 2.0. Should link to XForms.

3.2.2. & elsewhere

It would be nice to state that "decimal digits" are those in the  
Basic Latin block and nothing else.


Are orphan repetition blocks conforming?


"When the value attribute is absent, the buttons should be given  
locale-dependent default labels, in the same way as submit and reset  

Matching the page locale (if strings available) or always from  
browser UI locale?


Are repeat-max and repeat-min non-conforming without repeat? Would  
make sense.


Is is non-conforming to mark the root element as a repetition template?


Is it non-conforming for the document initial state not to comply  
with repeat-max and repeat-min?

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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