Re: Enhancements to FORMs

Paul Prescod (
Tue, 03 Sep 1996 16:47:22 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 1996 16:47:22 -0400
To: Lee Daniel Crocker <>,
From: Paul Prescod <>
Subject: Re: Enhancements to FORMs

At 10:39 AM 9/3/96 -0700, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>Also, forms are a bit outside HTML's initial purpose to begin with,
>so complicating them without clear benefit should not be done
>lightly or hastily.  

HTML has long since ceased to have a "purpose" other than "have tags for
things that people want to do on the Web". 

Once I would have agreed with you that HTML is not the right place for
forms, but with HTML increasingly becoming useless for encoding of
reasonable size documents, SGML and PDF on the way, FORMs may be the only
thing HTML is particularly good at. Its destiny may be to be the "glue"
between SGML documents, forms and relatively opaque objects (IMGs and PDFs).

Seen in this light, HTML is the perfect place to put all kinds of form doodads. 

On the other hand, I don't know why people are so resistant to Java applets.
A Java applet could take as its input some extended HTML form data format
and do whatever gee-whiz things people want. Just because it is "done in
Java" does not mean that each end user must _develop_ it in Java. The W3C
could maintain a registry of Java doodads. Once it is available, you can
just use it, almost as easily as if it were an HTML form element. 

Whether or not HTML is the formd escription language, it makes sense to
implement new form features as Java applets because you can deploy them much
more quickly than by lobbying browser vendors.

 Paul Prescod