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Re: DOM L2 comments, various

From: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 1999 19:43:36 -0700
Message-ID: <37F57158.11FD4355@pacbell.net>
To: keshlam@us.ibm.com
Cc: www-dom@w3.org
keshlam@us.ibm.com wrote:
> 
> Dave, I'm not sure of the status of your past questions about event handling --
> I'm also implementing this and stumbled across a few ot the same issues -- but a
> few comments follow based on my own best understanding. Note that I could be
> completely wrong; I wasn't involved in designing this chapter!

Thanks!  (Don't worry, I have issues about the traversal stuff too ... ;-)

 
> Re 6.2, "there ought to be _one_ mechanism whereby event reporting isn't subject
> to interference." -- I think the best current answer to that need is to have the
> target node's event handler (which can't be blocked) or a capture handler on the
> tree's root (which ought to run before capturing gets turned off) respond to the
> event by sending out a separate custom event which, presumably, nobody else is
> going to discard before your "unblockable" handlers hear it.

That's a pretty complex way to make what should be a simple thing happen.

Why not just get rid of Event.preventCapture() in the first place?   (Or
maybe the bubbling version, I'm not currently religious there.)

(I notice the www-dom archives have some other comments along these lines:
there needs to be a way for ancestors to watch events without worrying that
some other ancestor will tamper with the notification process.)


> Re 6.3.1 and the Swing event conventions --  Swing can get away with this
> because Swing doesn't attempt to pass generic events; specific events are tied
> to specific registration calls and specific listeners. Since we intend to let
> application-specific events pass through our engine, we can't really hardcode
> event types into the dispatch/listener APIs.

I think it's not quite so cut and dried as all that, actually.  The events
it passes have common bases, and they go through a common dispatch API, so
custom events pass through Swing also.


> That's also part of the answer to your question about applications defining
> their own events: That _is_ supposed to be possible, though I'm not sure it can
> be done fully portably.

My suggestion was about a way to do it portably, for _both_ of the two
classes of "application" I see as involved with a DOM implementation.

One class is exemplified by a browser:  "application" is almost integral
with some implementation of DOM, so it's fine if it needs proprietary
backdoor APIs.  The other is more what I'd call a real application:  DOM
is just a library, and only public API calls are usable.

What you're suggesting is fine for the first category (proprietary APIs
are OK), and not for the second.  I care a lot more about the second
category; the first category can't really have problems, and gets plenty
of attention anyway.


> 6.2.2: The intent is indeed that preventCapture() only shortcircuits the Capture
> phase. Good catch.

It implies as much elsewhere, but that section caused headscratching...

 
> 6.6.4 DOMSubtreeModified: I believe the intent is that any document mutation
> generates its specific event and also "eventually" triggers this event... but
> there may not be a 1:1 relationship. If you take a node that's already in the
> tree and give it a new parent (which is a removal plus an insertion, each
> generating its own event), the hope is that a sufficiently clever DOM might
> generate only a single DOMSubtreeModified message for the combined operation,
> sent to the lowest common ancestor of the old and new parents. It's hoped that
> this might reduce the load if "realtime" response is not required. The
> definition of "sufficiently clever", and what granularity the batching occurs
> on, seem to have been left to the implementation.

More than that -- the notion that cleverness is OK, and any limits of that
cleverness, are completly omitted.

Scenario:  A DOM is so clever that it just sends one DOMSubtreeModified event
shortly before the tree is garbage collected.  Is that legal?  Evidently.  So
no portable software could ever rely on this event.  Might as well leave it
out
of a spec that's intended to support portability, then.  (Or: specify it
fully.)


> 6.6.4 DOMNodeRemovedFrom/InsertedIntoDocument: There were a few use cases
> advanced where folks had active processes associated with nodes, which only
> wanted to run while the node was part of the Document.

Doesn't seem like those would be common -- the 80/20 rule would put those in
the 1% or less category.  I can see examples like a clock -- but that's really
a "only update when it's displayed", so other events would handle it.  All the
other examples could as readily be handled by a listener that (ahem) reliably
gets informed about deletions and insertions, without needing to worry about
the event stream getting tampered with by some other listener.

- Dave
Received on Friday, 1 October 1999 22:44:33 GMT

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