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Re: [whatwg] WebIDL and HTML5

From: Garrett Smith <dhtmlkitchen@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:22:59 -0700
Message-ID: <c9e12660808261722y337811cax8a1bd7c814e4e9fc@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Jonas Sicking" <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, "Web Applications Working Group WG" <public-webapps@w3.org>

On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc> wrote:
>>> One last time, the facts:
>>>
>>> 1)  There are DOM methods that accept DOMString arguments or return
>>>   DOMString values.
>>
>> Fact.
>
> Sounds like you agree here.
>

It's easily provable.

>>> 2)  In general, such methods need to be able to tell apart null and all
>>>   string values (including "" and "null").
>>
>> They need to determine value type so that they can either throw or
>> handle. null, 0, undefined, new String('x'), are all not strings.
>
> Sounds like you agree here too?

EcmaScript is runtime. No compiler check for createElement(undefined,
0, 1, 3).

>
>>> 3)  The behavior of null is almost always either that of "" or that of
>>>   "null".  Which one depends on the exact DOM method.
>>
>> That is false. null has no behavior. Methods have behavior. For
>> example, EcmaScript's internal ToString has a behavior of converting
>> null to "null". That is a behavior.
>
> You aren't actually answering Boris question, but rather point out a
> grammatical error in the question.

I know I sounds pedantic, but it is for a reason. There is a desire to
associate null with either "null" or "". It seems reasonable to allow
the language to handle such conversion. An alternative would be to
provide a global serialization scheme in IDL.

> So let me repeat the question with
> the grammatical error fixed. Please do excuse any other grammar errors I
> introduce as English is a second language to me.
>
> 3)  The behavior of the function when null is passed as value for an
>    argument is almost always either that of "" or that of "null".
>    Which one depends on the exact DOM method.
>
> Do you agree with this?
>

No, I do not agree. If the parameter type is domstring, and null is
not allowed, and the caller passes null, then the current behavior is
implementation-dependent. I did not agree ever that "" should be used
when null is passed as a value to an object that expects a string (or
dom method that expects a domstring). I believe that in the
following:-

el.textContent = null;

- with the options:-
a) raise exception
b) textContent is set to "null"
c) textContent is set to ""

Option (c) is wrong.
Option (b) would be marginally useful in a few cases
Option (a) would be helpful in some cases (finding bugs)

Your English is better than most native speakers. I can't remember
ever getting confused by your writing.

My previous, previous message, in response to Andrew Oakley, contains
more in-depth on the subject.

Garrett

> / Jonas
>
Received on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 00:23:34 GMT

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