Message-Id: <31236E70.4F8B@corp.micrognosis.com> Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 12:33:36 -0500 From: Adam Jack <email@example.com> To: "Scott E. Preece" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: JHTaylor@videodiscovery.com, email@example.com Subject: Re: Auto fill for form fields Scott E. Preece wrote: > > If you don't extend the standard to define names for the items that > can be auto-filled, > how does the form author indicate to the browser which > auto-fill value goes in which slot? IMHO it is the User Agent that should make this choice. It is a lot closer to the user who has, or has not, configured a value for that purpose of a per "field" basis. Placing the control in the hands of the form provider is restrictive. > Are you guessing based on the name of the field and the surrounding > text? Yes & No. I was matching the variable "NAME" against a local database of values & aliases. E.g. "firstname" "givenname" were aliased. (It could learn an alias.) > This sounds a little less predictable than I would like, I don't disagree -- however it is not that unpredictable. It benefits hugely, however, in being available with all todays forms. > Just to take the tax example, your scheme works if the form slots are > labeled "name", "phone", etc., but fails if the slots are named > "line3", "line31", etc., since the semantics of the name might vary > from year to year. The value on line31 this year might be on line 33 > next year. Good point. How would you suggest this were done with "autovalue"? I guess a mapping would need to be made to "phone" etc. If this is the case then all we are talking about is that I am overloading the "NAME" tag. I agree it is overloading -- but it isn't severe. The FORM author choses a name that allows automatic processing. One could define a standard that all authors ought use -- but I really wonder whether that would work in practicality. > I don't think you're wrong, but I do think it would be safer to > provide a base capability in the form of a set of defined names. > A user agent would still be free to implement a learning/guessing > scheme to augment that set. If this is to be the case and the use is within the "NAME" tag then there is the risk of clashing w/ an existing form that has named a field "name" but actually has no relevance to givenname. I will admit -- making a new TAG, say "AUTOVALUE" and defining a set of values seems cleanest. Unfortunately I think it will miss its target purpose and not be manageable. I am sorry if I am arguing through pessimism however I believe that is a fair arguement in this case. This is a world where proprietary extensions, such as netscape's, thrive and clean standards, such as X.400, flounder. Adam -- +1-203-730-5437 | http://www.micrognosis.com/~ajack/index.html firstname.lastname@example.org -> email@example.com -> ajack@?.???