[whatwg] Spellchecking mark III

Peter Kasting pkasting at google.com
Mon Jan 19 14:00:10 PST 2009

On Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 3:38 AM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> The same engineers have since implemented this feature in Chrome also,

Incorrect.  One engineer implemented a crude hack in a small portion of the
Chromium glue code that implements a fraction of the spec -- enough to make
Gmail work a little more nicely, and that's about it.

On Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 7:15 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> 2) The proposal Hixie linked seems way overengineered for this purpose.
> First, it allows spellchecking to be explicitly turned on, potentially
> overriding normal defaults, but that seems wrong; an <input type="email">
> should never spellcheck regardless of the page author says. I can't see any
> valid use case for the author turning spellchecking on regardless of UA
> defaults or user preferences.

Email subject line boxes.  In Firefox (where I implemented support for this
attribute matching Hixie's spec), the default is to spellcheck multiline
boxes and not single-line boxes, which meant that webmail subject line
fields would not be spellchecked by default.

> Second, it allows spellchecking to be controlled at a finer granularity
> than editability, for which again I think there is no valid use case.

Besides the above example in the positive direction, the negative direction
is, again, editable fields which you don't want spellchecked, e.g. email
recipient list fields (which may be multiline and contain whitespace).  I
agree with Roc that it is not practical for UAs to detect (via heuristics)
which fields should and should not be checked in all cases, and
spellchecking desirability seems finer grained than editability to me (not
completely orthogonal, as I don't think non-editable fields should ever be

I also agree with Roc that this is not complicated, in practice, to
implement.  It was a tricky patch for me in Firefox since I was not familiar
with any of the associated code, but the actual logic of the spec was not
hard at all.

I support adding Hixie's spec, as-is, to HTML5.  It's implemented in
Firefox, it's desired in Opera, and there's a bug on file to add support for
it to WebKit (which I would like to do someday).

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