[whatwg] [WF3] Web Forms 3.0 Feature List

Mihai Sucan mihai.sucan at gmail.com
Sat Feb 24 01:53:26 PST 2007


Thank you for the reply.

Le Sat, 24 Feb 2007 04:17:30 +0200, Matthew Raymond  
<mattraymond at earthlink.net> a écrit:

> Mihai Sucan wrote:
>> I'm not sure if this is appropriate thread to make a wish, but the  
>> subject
>> is "WF3 feature list". Please don't forget about extending <input
>> type=email> to allow a list of multiple emails, comma separated. See my
>> request:
>> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2007-January/008986.html
>    I presume you mean separated by semicolons, as you would do in
> Microsoft Outlook.

No. I really meant commas, not semicolons. This is because I use commas to  
separate multiple email addresses in the "To:" field in Opera M2. I'm  
quite certain it also works in Outlook, and semicolons also work in Opera  
- it's most likely a matter of taste picking which char to use.

> I think the following is a better idea:
> | <p repeat="template" id="row">
> |   <label for="emails">To:</label>
> |   <input type="email" id="emails" name="emails_[row]">
> |   <button type="remove">Delete Email</button>
> | </p>
> | <p><button type="add" template="row">New Email</button></p>
>    Adding and removing semicolon-separated items in a text box is highly
> cumbersome. I much prefer something similar to a Thunderbird-style email
> address entry, where new rows are added for each email. In fact,
> Thunderbird-like email entry is pretty simple to mark up:
> | <p repeat="template" id="row">
> |   <select id="emailtypes" name="emails_[row]_type">
> |     <option value="to">To:</option>
> |     <option value="cc">Cc:</option>
> |     <option value="bcc">Bcc:</option>
> |   </select>
> |   <input type="email" id="emails" name="emails_[row]_address">
> |   <button type="remove">Delete Email</button>
> | </p>
> | <p><button type="add" template="row">New Email</button></p>
>    Using a single control with semicolon may be cheaper from a markup
> standpoint, but when was the last time you saw it used for anything but
> email addresses? It's harder to see a specific address, harder to select
> and delete it, and if you're using a single-line text box, it's a real
> pain to reach an email address on one end of the line or the other.
> Plus, as you just illustrated, it may not be clear to the user what
> character to use as a separator. Not to mention the fact that the server
> has to parse addresses out of a single string when the form is submitted.

I do agree with you on this. The server has to split the string based on  
commas and semicolons, needing to take into account many more  
possibilities than a single input type=email field.

>    Also, keep in mind that the |type| "email" isn't necessarily just a
> text box with an email pattern. It may, for instance, offer
> autocompletion based on your address book. Having all emails in a string
> with separator characters may limit what features can be offered by user
> agents.

Opera offers autocomplete based on the known contacts list (the address  
book). This works in <input type=email>. And... getting to my point: the  
Email composer has a single "To:" field, where you can type multiple email  
addresses, separated by commas, with autocomplete. Thus, Opera has the  
capability of providing autocomplete for emails even in a single text box.

>    Besides, you can use the |pattern| attribute to accomplish about the
> same effect anyways, so there's no real benefit to supporting a new
> |type| value.

I agree with your point of view. The provided markup is a lot more safer  
than what I have done at the time of writing the email, however it's more  
than sufficient in the context of the web application I've done.

One should also take into consideration the following:

Given a list of emails (separated by commas or semicolons), e.g.:  
ana at example.com, lily at example.com, alina at example.com, spam at example.com.

In Opera I can select this list and copy/paste it into the To field. This  
just works.™

I find it hard to believe that does *not* work in Thunderbird. I'm quite  
certain this email client also allows multiple email addresses in a single  
"To:" field - based on a logical POV (people generally use this, and, if  
Thunderbird is supposed to be easy to use, such a capability must be  
available). I never used Thunderbird.

Now ... if the web application is made with a markup as you've provided,  
one has to manually copy/paste (or write) each email address in a single  
"To:" field. This is more than boring.

Hence, even in your case the need for allowing comma separated (and/or  
semicolon) email addresses still stands.  You did not eliminate the need,  
you've just made it (a) harder for the user to input multiple email  
addresses, or (b) you just added multiple "To:" input fields which still  
need to be parsed as I said.

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