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Re: About the Web Forms 2 proposal

From: Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 19:49:01 -0400
Message-ID: <46328BED.3080008@earthlink.net>
To: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Dave Raggett wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Apr 2007, Ian Hickson wrote:
> 
>> On Fri, 27 Apr 2007, Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer wrote:
>>
>>> XForms Transitional [...] introduces an expression syntax, Web 
>>> Forms 2.0 does not.
>>
>> WF2 doesn't, because it has not been shown how it could work. We spent
>> significant time and resources trying to find a way to make it work.
> 
> I think you owe it to the Web to try a little harder as there are 
> many kinds of users, many of which would benefit from such 
> expressions, just like they have benefited from the invention of 
> spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are very widely used and there are plenty 
> of prior art for using expressions for validation and for calculated 
> values.

   I don't think his point is that he'd turn down a proposal on how
expressions could be implemented in a safe and consistent manner. The
point is that extensive research and effort have thus far failed to
solve the problem of expression attributes in HTML. Keep in mind that
proving it can't be done is essentially proving a negative.

> A well defined expression language with a fixed set of predefined 
> functions can certainly be made to work. Will you accept the 
> challenge of working out how to make that fit with the rest of WF2?

   If someone wants a feature, shouldn't they be arguing how the feature
can work rather than challenging others to make it work for them?

>> The 'relevant' feature is available in the proposed HTML5 specs 
>> today, as noted above.
> 
> It is obviously tempting to identify relevancy with disabled, but 
> that would be to miss an opportunity to support wizards such as you 
> find on online ordering sites (including Apple's) where you are 
> taken through a sequence of choices with material irrelevant to the 
> current state hidden from view. For this we need to be able to
> hide fields but to do so in such a way that their values are still 
> submitted as part of the form.

   First of all, why would someone conclude that material not relevant
would be submitted to the server? That's counterintuitive. Why would you
waste bandwidth by submitting data that is irrelevant? It may not be
stated explicitly in the XForms Transitional document that
|relevant="false"| values are not submitted, but neither does it
explicitly state the opposite.

   Second, the WA1 has a comparable attribute |irrelevant| that is not
specifically associated with controls that can be used to hide elements.
 Therefore, it's understood by its use and definition that it doesn't
effect forms submission. (I'm not at all certain I like the idea of an
attribute that's so obviously presentational, though, and I suspect that
it may be a straw man feature. Could be useful for solving certain
long-standing problems, though. I'll have to give it some thought.)
Received on Friday, 27 April 2007 23:46:28 GMT

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