Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute

Jim Wise (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 15:40:57 -0500 (EST)

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 15:40:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Jim Wise <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 12 Nov 1996, Benjamin Franz wrote:

> A) 'Single unsplit line'. Bad assumption. The real problems come up with
> 'a mixture of split and unsplit lines'. The is frequently caused by a
> browser 'softwrapping' text. The *user* can't tell the difference between
> a 'softwrapped' line and a 'hardreturn'. So they edit along, do a little
> revising - and boom. Longline/shortline.

> B) 'never do anything unexpected' *TO THE USER*. Not the programmer. It is
> impossible without the use of something like 'WRAP=HARD' to meet this goal
> because the *USER* expects that what they see is what will be sent. And
The user expects that what they _enter_ will be sent.  Or, more relevantly,
the user expects that what they enter is what will be responded to.  Most
users are not concerned with the mechanics of the server's and browser's
newline policies.

> C) WRAP=HARD does not cause any *more* hardship for the 8% without
> a browser that support it than no WRAP=HARD does. This *is* null.

It does if people code their CGI's to expect that WRAP is supported.  And if
they don't, then it doesn't do much good, does it?

8% (even if this figure is really meaningful) is far to high a proportion of
users to get the wrong result.  I have no interest in shutting out nearly one
in ten users of my site in order to gain nothing more than a slight simplification
in my CGI coding...

				Jim Wise
				System Administrator
				GSAPP, Columbia University
				* Finger for PGP public key *