W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-forms@w3.org > April 2008

Re: Unfortunate choice of attribute name in XForms 1.1: xforms:submission/@target

From: Erik Bruchez <ebruchez@orbeon.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 11:52:04 -0700
Message-Id: <91741B16-90AD-4DD0-99C4-AA250E2D9FAE@orbeon.com>
To: "Forms WG (new)" <public-forms@w3.org>

John & all,

We could also have <xf:setvalue target="my/node"/>, or <xf:setfocus  
target="my-control"/> and your argument would still hold ;-)

I don't disagree that the name "target" can have some meaning in all  
cases, but one reason why is that the term is very generic (and it is  
a bad choice in HTML in the first place) and lots of things in the  
world can be "targets".

But in practice, what the "target" does in these two scenarios is very  
different from a user perspective: opening a window/tab/frame, or  
storing some data into a (likely hidden from the user) XML data model.

Also the type of the attribute is completely different: a window or  
frame name or id in one case, an XPath expression in the other case.  
That alone tells us that it would be a bad idea to use the same name.

-Erik

On Apr 8, 2008, at 11:30 AM, John Boyer wrote:
>
> Hi Erik,
>
> I'm not wholly unsympathetic.
>
> At a detail level it is a different use based on context.
>
> At a less detailed level, though, it is the same use of the  
> attribute.  The target attribute is just saying where the result of  
> the submission is supposed to go.  But where the results go is based  
> on a higher level attribute that controls a more fundamental  
> direction for the result:  1) inside same form as data update, or 2)  
> not inside the same form.
>
> Though I did not choose the name, I *think* it was actually this  
> similarity or analogy that caused the name "target" to be chosen in  
> the first place.  We're aiming the submission result at a specific  
> place, and where it is aimed is dependent on what we're doing  
> (replacing data versus replacing document content).
>
> Cheers,
> John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
> Senior Technical Staff Member
> 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
> Blog RSS feed: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/rss/JohnBoyer?flavor=rssdw
>
>
>
>
> Erik Bruchez <ebruchez@orbeon.com>
> Sent by: public-forms-request@w3.org
> 04/08/2008 10:27 AM
>
> To
> "Forms WG (new)" <public-forms@w3.org>
> cc
> Subject
> Re: Unfortunate choice of attribute name in XForms 1.1:  
> xforms:submission/@target
>
>
>
>
>
>
> John,
>
> You are right that this would be used in combination with
> replace="all", and that technically it is possible to do what you are
> saying (and BTW it would be quite easy to express this with Relax NG).
>
> However in general I think it is bad practice to give an attribute or
> element a different meaning depending on context. At least in my case,
> when learning a vocabulary, associating a specific meaning with a name
> allows me to better remember. Doing otherwise just adds to confusion.
>
> So I would rather rename the attribute to prevent the confusion in the
> first place. This will help form authors.
>
> -Erik
>
> On Apr 8, 2008, at 9:53 AM, John Boyer wrote:
> >
> > Hi Erik,
> >
> > It seems that the use of "target" you are describing might be a
> > legitimate use of it in combination with replace="all", so it might
> > not be in conflict with our current use of it for replace="instance"
> > and replace="text".
> >
> > The only difference might be the schema datatype for the attribute
> > would change based on the value of another attribute.  Schema
> > doesn't support this, but a limitation there should not get in the
> > way of using the same attribute for analogous operations.  When
> > replacing an instance, the target for where we put the submission
> > result is given by an XPath into the data.  When doing a
> > replace="all", it would be up for debate whether target should give
> > an XPath on the document or be an IDREF.
> >
> > What do you think?
> >
> > John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
> > Senior Technical Staff Member
> > 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
> > Blog RSS feed: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/rss/JohnBoyer?flavor=rssdw
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Erik Bruchez <ebruchez@orbeon.com>
> > Sent by: public-forms-request@w3.org
> > 04/07/2008 05:23 PM
> >
> > To
> > "Forms WG (new)" <public-forms@w3.org>
> > cc
> > Subject
> > Unfortunate choice of attribute name in XForms 1.1:
> > xforms:submission/@target
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > All,
> >
> > It just occurred to me that the XForms 1.1 xforms:submission/@target
> > attribute [1] is badly chosen.
> >
> > The reason is that a "target", in HTML speak, specifies an optional
> > target window or frame. This, in particular, applies to <a> and  
> <form>
> > in HTML. [2]
> >
> > In the future, we may want to officially support such a concept of
> > target window or frame in XForms. Purely out of familiarity with  
> HTML,
> > the name "target" would be an obvious choice. But if we use "target"
> > now to specify the destination for data replacement, we won't be  
> able
> > to use that name.
> >
> > (Note that in our implementation, we already support an extension
> > attribute called xxforms:target on xforms:submission and  
> xforms:load,
> > which behaves like its HTML counterpart.)
> >
> > For this reason I suggest that we change the name of this  
> attribute in
> > XForms 1.1. Suggestions are welcome, but "destination" could work.
> >
> > -Erik
> >
> > [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xforms11/#submit
> > [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/present/frames.html#adef-target
> >
> > --
> > Orbeon Forms - Web Forms for the Enterprise Done the Right Way
> > http://www.orbeon.com/
> >
> >
> >
>
> --
> Orbeon Forms - Web Forms for the Enterprise Done the Right Way
> http://www.orbeon.com/
>
>
>

--
Orbeon Forms - Web Forms for the Enterprise Done the Right Way
http://www.orbeon.com/
Received on Tuesday, 8 April 2008 18:59:45 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 1 October 2013 22:06:47 UTC