W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > October 2006

Re: SELECT display

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 11:20:01 +0100
Message-ID: <640dd5060610170320i4f72180bl5e63c0049683ee71@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-forms@w3.org


> I have in the past designed xforms and spent ages mucking about with
> "appearance", and grouping in order to try to get the form to make sense
> to its users.
> A form's function is often defined by more than just the controls on it.
> It is common that the controls must "line up" in some way or otherwise
> relate to each other in some coherent fashion for the form to be useful.
> "Group" doesn't always get you where you need to be, and I am concerned
> that xforms I develop that are perfectly functional and make sense in a
> browser would likely be entirely unfathomable on some other devices
> simply because of their reliance on layout to help convey meaning.
> I dont know what the answer is, but more elaborate x-platform display
> hints would go a long way toward minimising this problem I think. I dont
> have any problem with Mark's xsl-fo style block layout options.

I agree. Ideally this work would be carried out in the W3C's CSS
'space', since what we really need is something like this:

  xf|select1 ::choice { display: block; }

or this:

  xf|select1 ::option { display: block; }

In other words, it's probably best not to style the element 'item',
since it's not clear from the spec that 'itemset' unrolls to a list of
'item' elements. However, there is nothing to say that each of the
choices in a selection doesn't have a collection of pseudo-elements
called 'choice' or 'option', or whatever.

(This technique has the advantage that other elements could be used to
represent choices, such as SVG or VoiceXML elements, and the same
pseudo-element names could be used.)

We did start some work on the working group to get 'community
agreement' on standard CSS styles:


but that work seems to have fallen at the second hurdle (the first
hurdle was getting it up in public). If you and others have comments
then it would be great to put them here.

One problem with taking the CSS approach rather than the 'named
element' approach, is that the turnaround time on getting CSS features
added is slow. However, a 'workaround' for this was agreed amongst
implementers a while ago, which was to add classes to the widgets like


and so on. We could therefore easily add:




Mark Birbeck
x-port.net Ltd.

e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/
b: http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/

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Received on Tuesday, 17 October 2006 10:20:07 UTC

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