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[whatwg] Spellchecking proposal #2

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 21:59:07 +1000
Message-ID: <449E7A8B.6000001@lachy.id.au>
Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> On Jun 25, 2006, at 2:02 AM, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> ...
>> However, the proposed spellcheck attribute has one major advantage 
>> over all of those: it's being designed to allow the user to easily 
>> override it if they want to.
> 
> But realistically, browsers won't "allow the user to easily override it 
> if they want to", because any interface for doing that would be absurd. 
> For example, in Opera:
> 
>     |  Select all         #A |
>     |------------------------|
>     |  Check spelling        |
>     |  Really check spelling |
>     |------------------------|

What's the point of the separate "Really check spelling" item?  If spell 
checking is turned on for the text field, the browser could check the 
"Check spelling" entry, and leave it unchecked if it's turned off.  But 
there's far more creative things that browsers can do, browser UIs are 
continually improving and there's nothing stopping a browser from 
implementing an improved UI for it.  For example, here's a few ideas 
that browsers could implement:

* Status bar icon/text that indicates if spell checking is on or off, 
and if on, whether or not there are any errors (similar to that found in 
Microsoft Word).
* Toolbar button used to toggle spell checking on or off and indicate 
it's state.
* Context menu item (Opera already has this)
* Floating toolbar that displays (possibly docked to one side of the 
text area) when the textarea has focus, with buttons for things like: 
spell checking, find and replace, cut, copy, paste, etc.

I'm sure there are other people that know a lot more about UI design 
than I do, who could come up with some really creative and usable.  We 
just have to look past pre-existing bad user interfaces and think 
outside the box a little.

I'm starting to think we just need to define the attribute in a way that 
is semantic, and possibly come up with a new name to match.  And also 
give non-normative guidelines about how other attributes may be used to 
improve the logic.  For instance, the attribute could be defined like this:

| The |on| value indicates that the expected user input will
| primarily comprise natural human language.  The off value
| indicates that the expected user input will not.  If the
| attribute is not specified, user agents are free to use any
| algorithm they like in order to determine the type of the
| expected user input.
|
| User agents may use this to determine whether or not to
| provide spell checking for the content by default.  User
| agents should provide a way for the user to override this
| decision.

-- 
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
Received on Sunday, 25 June 2006 04:59:07 UTC

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