[whatwg] Syntax highlighting language attribute for editable elements

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 13 07:45:01 PDT 2010

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!).

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

  - Bjartur

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