[whatwg] Request for new DOM property textarea.selectionText

Aryeh Gregor ayg at aryeh.name
Sat Apr 28 23:37:40 PDT 2012

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> Does this work in any non-WebKit browsers? (Asking mainly out of curiosity; I would tend to agree in any case that adding nontrivial editing APIs that are specific to only plaintext editable controls is not a good idea. But it might be nice to specify explicitly whether execCommand works on form controls.)


data:text/html,<!DOCTYPE html>
<input value=abc>
var input = document.body.firstChild;
input.selectionStart = 1;
input.selectionEnd = 2;

This works in IE 10 Developer Preview and Chrome 20 dev, but not
Firefox 15.0a1 or Opera Next 12.00 alpha.  I guess it would make sense
to make commands like this work for plaintext editors, but I agree
that people who just want to deal with plaintext shouldn't be forced
to suffer through the horrors of execCommand() if we can make nicer
plaintext-only APIs.  Particularly since WebKit's insertText only
works on the current selection, and it's not as easy as it should be
to save and restore the selection, so an API that can deal with
arbitrary ranges directly is valuable.

> 3) It's not clear that all of the different selection modes of this function have use cases.

In particular, the fourth argument's effect seems trivial to replicate
using .selectionStart and .selectionEnd, so why is it worth the extra
API surface area?

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