Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute

Benjamin Franz (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 05:13:15 -0800 (PST)

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 05:13:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Benjamin Franz <>
To: James Aylett <>
cc: "Kevin 'Kev' Hughes" <>,
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 12 Nov 1996, James Aylett wrote:

> On Mon, 11 Nov 1996, Kevin 'Kev' Hughes wrote:
> > 	The WRAP attribute makes it easier for users, in terms of good
> > interface, as well as for CGI and server-end programmers. The current
> > HTML 3.2 spec does not provide for any standard wrapping scheme, so it
> > is likely that implementations of TEXTAREA within different browsers
> > will send the same input to the server each in its own way, making it
> > a headache for programmers who wish to process forms using TEXTAREA.
> On the contrary; imagine if this were supported in the next versions of
> MSIE, Netscape and Lynx, say.

You haven't been paying attention. It *IS* supported in MSIE and Netscape. 
Right now. Has been for at least two versions of both programs (three for
Netscape). More than 92% of the installed base of browsers supports it. We
*are not* discussing something proposed for future expirmentation but
something nearly universally deployed today.

> Consider then the percentage of people using
> browsers which wouldn't support it, and do things their old way; well over
> fifty, probably well over eighty or even ninety, for quite a long time.

Under 8%. Today. This second.

> Hence your CGI program must be able to cope with splitting and wrapping
> itself. You simply can't make assumptions about how the data is presented
> to you; you've simply *got* to check your input for validity before you do
> anything with it.

Sure you have to validity check your data. *But you have to do that
*anyway*. No change in status. That is a null argument. 'You would have to 
do what you do anyway'. BUT - you have greatly improved the odds of the
data *already* being valid when you recieve it and reduced the chance of
the CGI doing something *unexpected to the user* due to invalid data.

Benjamin Franz