Character entities in tag attributes?

Steven Grimm (koreth@hyperion.com)
Thu, 18 Aug 1994 17:14:09 -0700


Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 17:14:09 -0700
From: koreth@hyperion.com (Steven Grimm)
Message-Id: <199408190014.RAA28761@spud.Hyperion.COM>
To: www-html@www0.cern.ch
Subject: Character entities in tag attributes?

It seems that Mosaic, at least, converts entities (specifically &quot;) to
plaintext before it parses tags.  I think HTML+ should specify otherwise.

Currently there is no way to put double quotes in an attribute.  That's
nasty, because I'd like to be able to do:

Subject: <input name=foo size=30 value="Re: I like &quot;Star Wars.&quot;">

The user can *enter* double quotes in the field, and they are URL-escaped
and passed to the server.  Requiring the "value" tag to be URL-escaped
wouldn't be too nice, so entities seem like the natural way to allow the
full range of available characters to be specified in default values.

What'd be even better, though I suspect you couldn't easily make it SGML-
compliant without requiring the end tag to always be present, would be to
optionally mimic the <textarea> tag:

Subject: <input name=foo size=30 default=yes>Re: I like "Star Wars."</input>

I don't want to use <textarea> because I want to limit the input to a
single line.  So another way to achieve the desired effect would be to
add an attribute to <textarea> to tell the browser, "don't let the text
grow beyond the dimensions specified by the ROWS and COLS attributes."

Thoughts?  Is there currently a way to do what I want that I'm just not
seeing?  For the moment I'm changing " to ' when I generate my forms,
but that's obviously not a very good solution.

-Steve