Re: Enhancements to html forms

Steve (Steve.Ball@pastime.anu.edu.au)
Wed, 29 Nov 1995 11:20:28 +1100 (EST)


From: Steve <Steve.Ball@pastime.anu.edu.au>
Message-Id: <199511290020.LAA01605@jewels-e.anu.edu.au>
Subject: Re: Enhancements to html forms
To: S.Cox@solo.ned.dem.csiro.au (Simon Cox)
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 11:20:28 +1100 (EST)
Cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <v02120d00ace14f0139c3@[192.149.36.135]> from "Simon Cox" at Nov 29, 95 07:47:44 am

Simon wrote:
> At 10:52 AM 28/11/95, Marc Salomon wrote:
> >I disagree.  One big win for HTML has been that it puts simple GUI design in
> >the hands of document authors instead of restricting it to programmers.  Issues
> >of applet language encumberance and security aside, languages such as Java or
> >safetcl will still require a degree of programming expertise that experience
> >has shown is not required to design a simple GUI.
>
> Hear hear!  Thanks for that Marc.  That has been my experience
> completely.  While I have done a fair bit of programming through
> the years, I am no software engineer and OO has passed me by, unfortunately.
> I quite enjoyed putting together what I did using standard "FORMS" tools,
> and I think the enhancements I was discussing would provide a huge
> capability without having to go to applets!

You have little argument from me.  It *is* a shame that we are losing one
of the attractions of the Web to applet technologies - the fact that you don't
have to be a computer scientist to author and publish information.

Unfortunately, as far as I see, HTML will never keep up with the constant
demand for new features, despite its extensibility.  Today we want numeric
input fields, tomorrow floating-point, next week something else... Applets 
fill the gap.  I hope to see large libraries of plug-'n'-play applets emerge 
that will provide these special features, or at least applet templates that a 
non-programmer could quickly adapt to their needs.

The "challenge" for form authors is to cater for _both_ applet-enabled and
non-applet-enabled browsers.  It shouldn't be that hard to do, but some
may simply not bother (how many Web pages declare that they "look best when
viewed by <browser name deleted> v1.1"?  There's really no need for it,
except laziness).

My $A0.02 worth.

Steve Ball