Re: HTML 3.0 FORM

Steven J. DeRose (sjd@ebt.com)
Tue, 20 Dec 1994 10:06:45 -0500


Message-Id: <199412201501.KAA28891@ebt-inc.ebt.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 1994 10:06:45 -0500
To: michaelj@relay.relay.com,
From: sjd@ebt.com (Steven J. DeRose)
Subject: Re: HTML 3.0 FORM

At  5:37 PM 12/16/94 +0100, Michael Johnson wrote:
>>Can we define what the default action is for a missing FORM element?
>
>One potential action which would be consistent if not very helpful would be to
>do nothing. If this were the case, then authors would presumably quickly stop
>putting form elements outside of a FORM. From the point of view of the browser,
>the HTML would at least contain no surprises.

Have been following the discussion on forms, and would like to add
my support to the idea of requiring that form-specific elements
be allowed only inside forms.

I think this is really good for the interface: A form is something
the user interacts with in a rather different way from a document,
and so anything we can do to avoid blurring the useful distinction
seems good to me. Systems in the past that have tried to completely
merge the notions 'form' and 'document' have seemed pretty awkward
to me, interface-wise.

There are also 2 sticky problems I've run into with current forms
that I hope are being addressed:

* One frequently needs the URL or the originating document to do
  nifty things with forms, such as searching relative to the doc.
  This information should be easy to get to (though, technically,
  I suppose this is more a matter of semantics and protocol than
  of the DTD; unless maybe there was a new form element whose 
  meaning was defined to be 'return the URL I'm in').

* Most clients appear to return the values of all form elements
  in the document, not just those in the form being sent; this
  seems less then ideal....