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Re: XMLHttpRequest Comments from W3C Forms WG

From: Alex Russell <alex@dojotoolkit.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 19:01:10 -0800
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "Klotz, Leigh" <Leigh.Klotz@xerox.com>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, WebApps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, Forms WG <public-forms@w3.org>
Message-Id: <4D867192-3F20-4BDD-A36D-CE7C40F17B2C@dojotoolkit.org>
To: marcosc@opera.com

On Dec 18, 2009, at 3:09 PM, Marcos Caceres wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 4:40 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>  
> wrote:
>> On Dec 17, 2009, at 3:15 PM, Klotz, Leigh wrote:
>>> OK, so is the conclusion that XHR is implementable only in HTML5 and
>>> should be re-titled "XMLHttpRequest in HTML5" or something similar?
>> I think your premise is false, and I don't such a retitling would be
>> helpful. The XHR spec does not require a full implementation of  
>> HTML5. It
>> only references some concepts from HTML5. The XHR spec could be  
>> implemented
>> in an SVG or HTML4 or XHTML 1.0 implementation that did not support  
>> most
>> aspects of HTML5 at all, as long as it could satisfy the requirements
>> implied by those definitions. Your proposed title change would  
>> imply that
>> the XHR spec could only be implemented by an HTML5 UA, but that is  
>> not
>> accurate.
> So, basically, what you are saying is that you can't pick up this spec
> and, say, implement it in [insert favorite programming language]
> easily without a whole bunch of baggage from HTML5? Seems like pretty
> poor engineering, but that might not be the fault of the specification
> (i.e., given that XHR is a reverse engineering of something that is
> closely tied to browsers). Its a shame though that we can't liberate
> these things from browser behavior so they are more generally
> applicable. I've seen XHR implemented in other classes of product, but
> it'd be a shame if such products can't ever conform to the spec.

That's sort of a perverse way to look at it. It's not like XHR is a  
*good* API. It's a passible Win32 COM interface, but you'd want a lot  
more control over many aspects of the HTTP discussion if you were  
doing this in an environment that's not a browser. What other  
environment has a same-origin policy? Unless the other language you're  
talking about is C++, I don't think anyone should be toting XHR around  
with them like it's some sort of a liberated gem. It's a bad JS API  
and would be as bad (or worse) in many other dynamic languages.


>> All we have here is a case of suboptimal factoring of the  
>> specifications, so
>> that some concepts of very general applicability to the Web  
>> platform are
>> presently only defined in HTML5. Some of them are in the process of  
>> being
>> broken out, some of them already have been broken out, and more are  
>> likely
>> to be broken out in the future. XMLHttpRequest is in fact a pretty  
>> good
>> example of factoring something out of HTML5, and even though we  
>> haven't
>> cleaned up its whole chain of dependencies, I do not think that is  
>> a reason
>> to stuff it back into HTML5, or to block progress on perfecting its
>> dependencies.
>> Regards,
>> Maciej
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Jonas Sicking [mailto:jonas@sicking.cc]
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 3:14 PM
>>> To: Klotz, Leigh
>>> Cc: Boris Zbarsky; WebApps WG; Forms WG
>>> Subject: Re: XMLHttpRequest Comments from W3C Forms WG
>>> As Ian already has mentioned. No one is disputing that most of these
>>> things should be factored out of the HTML5 spec. But so far no one  
>>> has
>>> stepped up to that task. Until someone does we'll have to live  
>>> with the
>>> reality that these things are defined in the HTML5 spec and the
>>> HTML5 spec alone.
>>> / Jonas
>>> On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 2:40 PM, Klotz, Leigh  
>>> <Leigh.Klotz@xerox.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Great!  It sounds like more progress is being made on both putting
>>>> experience from implementations back into specifications, and in
>>>> modularizing the XHR document references, since it will give a  
>>>> better place
>>>> than HTML5 for reference.
>>>> Leigh.
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Boris Zbarsky [mailto:bzbarsky@MIT.EDU]
>>>> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 2:38 PM
>>>> To: Klotz, Leigh
>>>> Cc: WebApps WG; Forms WG
>>>> Subject: Re: XMLHttpRequest Comments from W3C Forms WG
>>>> On 12/17/09 2:22 PM, Klotz, Leigh wrote:
>>>>> Thank you for the clarification.  Surely then this ought to be  
>>>>> fixed
>>>>> with an IETF or W3C document describing this fact
>>>> After some pushback, there is in fact such a document being  
>>>> worked on.
>>>> It's not quite far enough to reference normatively last I  
>>>> checked....
>>>>> Is it defined in http://www.w3.org/html/wg/href/draft ?
>>>> Yep.
>>>> -Boris
> -- 
> Marcos Caceres
> http://datadriven.com.au
Received on Saturday, 19 December 2009 03:02:20 UTC

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