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Re: List discussion issue: Pruning empty nodes on url-encoded submission

From: Blake Jones <blake.jones@ViewPlus.com>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 14:54:21 -0400
Message-ID: <4651EADD.4050407@ViewPlus.com>
To: "Klotz, Leigh" <Leigh.Klotz@xerox.com>
CC: public-forms@w3.org
In researching this, I discovered that the HTML4 spec does not require 
an empty submission:

 From HTML 4.01 spec. 24 DEC 1999
17.13.2 Successful Controls
"If a control doesn't have a current value 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/interact/forms.html#current-value> when 
the form is submitted, user agents are not required to treat it as a 
successful control."

Only "successful controls" are submitted.

I think most (all?) browsers do submit empty control values, so I 
propose that we should specify that (X)forms submissions _should_ submit 
empty values in an attempt at paralleling the de facto HTML practice.



Klotz, Leigh wrote:
> I apologize for the distraction during the meeting and for sending 
> both issues in the same message.
> - If you submit with method="get", nodes whose string content is empty 
> get elided, so there's no way to do a GET of
>  http://example.com/query?a=1;b=;c=3
> Instead, you get
>  http://example.com/query?a=1;c=3
> I believe the correct behavior is that the empty item should be 
> serialized as "name=" but no value.
> I believe that only missing or non-relevant b is what should cause the 
> elision.
> - In HTML4, empty string content values are still submitted.
> Attached are examples of a single-parameter query/echo form example in 
> XHTML+XForms and XHTML1.
> Leigh.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* public-forms-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-forms-request@w3.org] *On Behalf Of *John Boyer
> *Sent:* Wednesday, May 02, 2007 1:13 PM
> *To:* public-forms@w3.org
> *Subject:* List discussion issue: Pruning empty nodes on url-encoded 
> submission
> Turns out the link in the agenda was correct: 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-forms/2007Feb/0077.html
> It is the submit-on-enter example from Leigh, which includes 
> information from Aaron Reed.
> The email points out two problems, the submit-on-enter problem AND the 
> problem that empty nodes are pruned on URL encoded submissions, 
> instead of submitting them as empty values.
> Let's get some discussion going on the list here about what the 
> correct behavior should be.
> Thanks,
> John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
> STSM: Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
> Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
> Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
> IBM Victoria Software Lab
> E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com  
> Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer

Blake Jones
Software Engineer
ViewPlus Technologies
Received on Monday, 21 May 2007 21:22:35 UTC

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