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

From: Ulrich Nicolas Lissť <unl@dreamlab.net>
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 22:45:14 +0200
Message-ID: <47FBD95A.5060005@dreamlab.net>
To: Erik Bruchez <ebruchez@orbeon.com>
CC: "Forms WG (new)" <public-forms@w3.org>

Erik,

in your post starting this thread you wrote

 >> > (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.)

Note that we have @show on xf:load which mirrors the HTML form/@target 
attribute. No need for @target there.

So, why not adding @show to xf:submission? It would be optional and 
would only be considered when @replace="all" (analogous to @target, 
which is only evaluated on @replace="instance" or @replace="text").

We don't need to match the HTML attribute names, we only need a mapping 
like this:

html:form	xf:submission (defaults to @replace="all")
@action		@resource
@enctype	@method
@target		@show

Adding a new attribute to xf:submission, however, does not feel good to 
me. We already have 21 attributes for this element. This painfully 
highlights the need for a submission refactoring. Which would be worth 
another thread.

Regards,
Uli.

Erik Bruchez wrote:
> 
> 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/
> 
> 

-- 
Ulrich Nicolas Lissť
Received on Tuesday, 8 April 2008 20:46:11 UTC

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