[whatwg] Is there any reason for the continued existence of enctype attribute at the form element

Mark Kaplun mark at marksw.com
Sun Oct 11 08:06:49 PDT 2009

Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> On 10/11/09 6:59 AM, Mark Kaplun wrote:
>> I think that in practice no one is writing his own mime handling
>> routines to handle the data in a post message, and people just use a
>> framework which handles it for them.
> While this may be true (and I'm not sure it's as true as one would 
> like) some of these "frameworks" are more or less capable than 
> others.  Some expect the data in a _very_ particular format (such that 
> changing the order of elements in the submitted data, for example 
> breaks them); I would not expect them to switch easily between 
> different enctypes.
>> I don't know enough about other server languages but I would assume that
>> handling the post mime type automagically is one of the basic candies
>> that every modern server language provides.
> A surprising amount of form POST processing seems to happen in an exe 
> on the server, not in any sort of modern scripting language.  At least 
> based on the bugs we've gotten filed whenever we change anything about 
> it.
> -Boris
Boris, I have agreed with your first response that I don't know enough 
about all the crazy things that people might be doing, to make this 
attribute to disappear. However I don't see how changing the default 
mime type will have any affect on the existing web pages and for web 
pages which will be authored in the next few years, as long as there are 
tested against IE8.

IMHO this attribute is a bug in the specification which is causing 
annoyance to any web developer which do not use IDE's to create forms. 
Changing the default the way I described might create a different 
annoyance, but in my opinion it will be a much lesser one.

More information about the whatwg mailing list