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Re: @number attribute on xforms:repeat

From: Erik Bruchez <erik@bruchez.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 16:08:12 +0100
Message-ID: <438B1D5C.1070505@bruchez.org>
To: www-forms@w3.org

Mark Birbeck wrote:
 > It is a hint, and as such can rightly be ignored.
 >
 > Just in terms of why it's a hint, the problem is more the other way
 > round; how would we come up with a cross-platform,
 > device-independent way of defining @number? Obviously we could say
 > that it is used to indicate how many 'rows' of a xf:repeat are
 > rendered, but then is a photocopier or a fax machine non-conformant
 > if it can only show one row at a time?

I agree with this. But now I can reformulate my question for XForms
engine with HTML or XHTML as host language, since this is my main
focus. In this case, there should be agreement among XForms engines
implementors as to what the desired behavior should be.

 > At one time I was keen for at least number="1" to have mandated
 > behaviour (i.e., the device could process any other values of
 > @number as best they could, but '1' should always only show one
 > iteration), since that makes wizard-style forms really easy to
 > write, safe in the knowledge that they will be the same on all
 > devices. But even with that we found that there were other ways to
 > do it, and so the enthusiasm for mandating that waned!

Understandable.

 > Finally, on the specific questions raised in this thread: no, @number
 > doesn't affect index() or setindex

Makes perfect sense to me.

 > and no, it can't be used for things like paging. The latter needs to
 > be set up by the form author (there are a number of examples on our
 > site).

We have also done paging using other means, but why couldn't @number
be used for such a purpose? I would argue that this would be a great
use of this attribute. If I put together these two sentences from the
spec:

   "number - Optional hint to the XForms Processor as to how many
   elements from the collection to display."

and:

   "Attributes on this element specify how many members of the
   collection are presented to the user at any given time."

This rings to me such words as "scrolling" or "paging", hence my
original question as to what people's interpretation is. Certainly, it
doesn't seem like the spec precludes an XForms engine to implement
scrolling or paging of repeated sections based on this attribute.

-Erik
Received on Monday, 28 November 2005 15:09:17 GMT

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