[whatwg] Syntax highlighting language attribute for editable elements

Brett Zamir brettz9 at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 27 23:05:29 PST 2010

On 6/13/2010 10:45 PM, Bjartur Thorlacius wrote:
> While using @lang for this purpose sound good in theory it will simply
> overload it with information it wasn't really designed for. Something
> like @type=application/perl or somesuch might work better. That also
> has the benefit that we don't need to build a new list of names of
> programming languages (and take care of languages with similiar/same
> names, such as Go vs Go!).
(Sorry for the very delayed reply)

I like the @type idea, and it can be extensible too via application/x-*.

I think <code/> could benefit for this approach too, in order to keep 
them in harmony.


> On 6/13/10, Ashley Sheridan<ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk>  wrote:
>> On Sun, 2010-06-13 at 13:57 +0800, Brett Zamir wrote:
>>> Has thought been given to allow textarea, input and/or contenteditable
>>> elements to use an attribute (maybe like<code/>  does with
>>> class=language-XX) so that user agents might be able to display the
>>> editable text with syntax highlighting code automatically?
>>> This should not adversely affect users who do not have such browser
>>> support, nor does it put pressure on browsers to implement immediately
>>> (add-ons might take care of such a role). But having a convention in
>>> place (even if languages are not predefined) would ensure that the
>>> burden of implementing such support could be shifted away from the
>>> developer if they are not so inclined.
>>> I'd prefer to see a dedicated attribute (also on<code/>) since the
>>> language type does convey general interest semantic information, but I
>>> think it would also ideally be consistent (i.e., the same attribute to
>>> be used in<code/>  as in<textarea/>, etc.).
>>> Maybe @lang/@xml:lang could be used for this purpose if its definition
>>> could someone be widened to recognize computer languages.
>>> It would be nice, however, to also have some means of indicating that
>>> the web author is providing their own styling of the element in the
>>> event they wish to use their own editor.
>>> thank you,
>>> Brett Zamir
>> I think maybe not a class, as the class attribute already has a purpose
>> and is probably already used in a<code class="php">  type of capacity
>> already by some sites showing code excerpts. I'd suggest maybe extending
>> the lang attribute, but it's also conceivable that a code snippet might
>> be in Perl and written with French comments, and the lang attribute
>> wasn't meant for multiple values like the class attribute is. Perhaps
>> the best solution is to use another new attribute altogether?
>> It is a good idea though, I think, as it does add a lot of semantic
>> meaning to the content.
>> Thanks,
>> Ash
>> http://www.ashleysheridan.co.uk

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