Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute

Carl Morris (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 17:13:22 -0600

Message-Id: <>
From: "Carl Morris" <>
To: "Benjamin Franz" <>,
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 17:13:22 -0600

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

Nope, the problem is explicitly caused by NETSCAPE's default action not
to wrap.  It causes users to get sick of seeing the text go out too far
and scroll around.  It is also caused by buggy CGI's that then take
whole lines and wrap them in PRE rather than some more reliable wraping
HTML, which is then viewed by others which scream at the original
poster, or by Netscape's email system which supports quoted/printable
email but fails to wrap the text.

| 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
| because the *USER* expects that what they see is what will be sent.
| without WRAP=HARD - this is simply not true. At *best* the CGI can
| *guesses* about where the breaks should occur.

They had better not.  HTML never guarantees the view... TEXTAREA IS NO

WRAP adds too much extra bull to the specification... there are too
many specifics, and that is not part of HTML.  HTML doesn't even
dictate how the form data gets back to the server, by default it should
be url encoded, but lets not hold our breath... the next killer browser
may use quoted/printable...