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Re: Implementor feedback on new elements in HTML5

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 02:14:42 -0300
Message-ID: <63df84f0908312214l17efe795y5d3225fa4e517a72@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Great feedback Maciej,

At mozilla we have yet to do a detailed review of the new elements, so
I can't give as detailed feedback at the time. However it feels like I
personally generally agree. Some comments and cases I didn't agree
with below:

> - <dialog> element
>   This essentially gives the same behavior as <dl> but with appropriate
> semantics for logs of conversations. It seems useful and easy to implement.

Useful for what? I don't yet understand what anyone needs this element for.

> - New interactive controls: <meter>, <progress>
>   These elements seem useful and a good idea. These controls are useful in
> native UI and often get hand-rolled by JavaScript libraries. We would like
> to expose a default native look, but with full author stylability for these.

I think it's a very good point that these two elements need to be
author stylable in order to become useful for authors. I suspect
people in many cases won't use them until they can be styled. Would be
great to see a proposal from apple on CSS properties for styling
these.

I am however yet unconvinced that <meter> will really be used enough
to warrant inclusion in the spec and implementation in UAs. It has
been pointed out to me that some platform toolkits does indeed include
a similar feature, but I can't really think of many websites or
applications where I've seen them used.

Also, as someone not from Liberia, Burma or the United States, I find
the name very confusing. I usually associate the term 'meter' with the
unit of length. In fact, the first time I saw the element I thought it
was more related to <time> than to <progress>, i.e. some way to mark
up distances.

> - new <input> element types
>   These seem generally useful, and we already have some implemented to
> various extents (search, range, email, url tel). The only concern is the
> sheer number of date and time controls. 6 of the 13 new input types are for
> dates or times. Are there real use cases for all 6? Do all 6 exhaustively
> cover the types of time and date input you may want to do in forms?

We had a recent discussion about this one at mozilla. There was a lot
of concern that even if we added date-pickers to the platform they
wouldn't get used since authors wanted a consistent look with the rest
of the page. So this might be similar to <progress> in that regard.

I still think that some type of date/time-picker is important for
accessibility, mobile devices, etc. However I think the styling
problem is important. Unfortunately, unlike <progress>, I think
there's a risk the problem can't be solved with CSS alone.

/ Jonas
Received on Tuesday, 1 September 2009 05:15:43 UTC

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