Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute

Carl Morris (
Mon, 11 Nov 1996 20:12:31 -0600

Message-Id: <>
From: "Carl Morris" <>
To: "Kevin 'Kev' Hughes" <>, "WWW HTML List" <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 20:12:31 -0600

| 	Carriage returns and line feeds entered by the user are ignored
| and one line of text is sent to the server. No automatic wrapping is
| so the user must scroll horizontally to see lines that extend past
| specified column width.

Nope, not the last time I checked.  WRAP is entirely NETSCAPE specific.
 MSIE on the otherhand forces wraping all the time.  I quite agree with
not having it.  WRAP=OFF means do not wrap long lines... only CR/LF can
"wrap" as it means new line.

| 	Carriage returns and line feeds entered by the user are mirrored
| on the screen, but only one line of text is sent to the server with
| return characters stripped out. Automatic wrapping as the user enters
| text is performed.

Nope, not true.  In a TEXTAREA, no matter the WRAP, LF and CR are
always sent if they are entered by the user.  Virtual wrap means that
the browser wraps where it wants, but doesn't let the server know where
it wrapped.

| 	Carriage returns and line feeds entered by the user are mirrored
| on the screen, and all characters the user enters are sent to the
| In addition, automatic word wrapping is performed and CR/LFs are sent
| where the user agent wraps the text.

True, basically, but never once in WRAP does the browser ever STRIP
anything, only adds to it.

| 	At, the HTML 3.2
| proposal says:
| 	"... Users should be able to enter longer lines that this, so
| 	user agents should provide some means to scroll through the
| 	contents of the textarea field when the contents extend beyond
| 	the visible area. User agents may wrap visible text lines to
| 	keep long lines visible without the need for scrolling."
| 	In short, HTML 3.2 leaves it up to the *user agent* to wrap text
| lines. I believe that the *form's author* should be able to specify
| how the text is wrapped and sent to the server.
| 	Why is this useful?

Because the server has no use knowing where the browser chose to wrap,
absolutely no use.

| 	* It is necessary for forms that expect input for traditional
| 	  email applications.

FORMS must assume that they will have to truncate the data to 72
character lines.  MSIE does not take the WIDTH attribute literally, 72
characters to MSIE creates a BOX half the width of the screen, and then
uses a PS font, and may actually fit only 40 characters, or 140
characters in to the box per line ... you never know.  a TEXTAREA is
not something reliable enough for an email CGI to expect the formdata
at exactly what it told the browser... thats not even a moral of

| 	* It is necessary for applications that require line breaks
| 	  within input.

CGI's process all their data as one HUGE line....  whats wrong with the
CGI deciding where to split the data, uh?