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Re: Dropping <input usemap="">

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 08:27:12 -0500
Message-Id: <9E1A5860-8503-4588-BB68-A384AB7A4DDC@robburns.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Geoffrey Sneddon <foolistbar@googlemail.com>

On Aug 16, 2007, at 7:55 AM, Geoffrey Sneddon wrote:

> On 16 Aug 2007, at 13:05, Robert Burns wrote:
>> On Aug 16, 2007, at 6:19 AM, Philip Taylor wrote:
>>> Robert Burns wrote:
>>>>>> It doesn't submit form data. We have an <input type-'image'>  
>>>>>> that doesn't submit form data (unless the map is nohrefed or  
>>>>>> something like that). That doesn't sound like it works as  
>>>>>> intended to me.
>>>>> It does submit form data, when you click on a part that's not  
>>>>> already covered by the client-side image map.
>>>> I see I was wrong there, again based on what Lachlan had said.  
>>>> It does work in FireFox and Opera as the HTML 4.01  
>>>> recommendation specifies.  And that means that it works when  
>>>> @href is not set on the |area| elements (its not just those area  
>>>> not covered by |area|). That is the feature we're discussing  
>>>> here. It cannot be done without the @usemap attribute.
>>> In Firefox/Opera, when you have an <area> with no href, clicking  
>>> on that area does nothing at all (unlike when you click on  
>>> somewhere not covered by any <area>).
>> Well, that's an implementation problem.
> Is it? It does what is required in the current spec. What is the  
> problem with the implementation issue? Is it due to your use case  
> that has never been given to the developers? Firefox/Opera do what  
> I'd expect them to under the current spec.

I'm not trying to point fingers or place blame on anyone. There's no  
reason to take offense. I'm simply saying that this could be a rich  
UI experience provided through straight HTML. The HTML 4.01  
recommendation is certainly vague on some o f this. Other pars are  
less vague, but still not implemented in an interoperable way.  
Despite HTML 4.01's vagueness on <input usemap>, it is not at all  
vague on expecting |area| without @href to work with <input usemap>,  
so that part does go against the spec. Again, I'm not pointing  
fingers, I'm just trying to understand, what could be done and what  
was accomplished already. It may be helpful to put together some  
mockups of possible uses and see how the perform in the various  

> The fact that this "feature" causes real world sites to break is  
> nothing but a reason to exclude it. If it had valid use cases,  
> surely someone pushing the limits of HTML4 would've used it as such  
> by now?

I'm not sure what real-world sites you're referring to. No one has  
yet presented any research of real world sites breaking that I am  
aware of. However, there's a lot of doubt about whether this was  
implemented in a way that authors could use. So, it looks to me that  
it may just be a case of an under specced portion of HTML 4.01. I'll  
certainly try to look into mockups to see what the browsers do. If  
any of them do work, then it might be interesting to see if there are  
any sites making use of the feature.

Take care,
Received on Thursday, 16 August 2007 13:27:26 UTC

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