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Re: Internal discrepancy in section 17 of HTML 4.0 spec

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 07:53:50 -0500
Message-ID: <3662955E.D1D99404@w3.org>
To: Jukka Korpela <jkorpela@cc.hut.fi>
CC: www-html-editor@w3.org
Jukka Korpela wrote:
> In the HTML 4.0 specification, subsection 17.13.3, under
> "Step four: Submit the encoded form data set"
> defines required support in two cases, both specifically using
> an ACTION attribute which is a HTTP URI, then says:
> "For any other value of action or method, behavior is unspecified."
> This logically implies, in particular, that behavior is unspecified
> when a form with ACTION="mailto:..." is submitted.
> On the other hand, at the end of section 17.3 there is the following:
> The next example shows how to send a submitted form to an email address:
>  <FORM action="mailto:Kligor.T@gee.whiz.com" method="post">
>  ...form contents...
>  </FORM>
> Thus, the specification provides an example of usage for which it
> says that the behavior is unspecified.

Hello Jukka,

Sounds reasonable to me. We should not be encouraging authors to 
write pages that result in behavior that is not well-defined. Even
though examples are not normative, we should not encourage
practice that is not interoperable.

> Suggested alternative corrections:
> 1. Delete the example.
> 2. Change the introductory text associated with the example
>    so that it complies with the specification and does not make
>    claims on behavior which is not required, e.g.
> "The next example uses an action attribute with a mailto: URI,
> which is processed by some user agents so that the form content
> is sent by email to the specified address:"
> Alternative 1 would be the logically and practically sound choice.

Thank you for the suggestion. I'll take this to the new HTML Working

 - Ian

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Received on Monday, 30 November 1998 07:53:37 UTC

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