Re: PROPOSAL FOR A MULTI-COLUMN SELECT ELEMENT WITHIN A FORM FIELD

Stewart Brodie (S.N.Brodie@ecs.soton.ac.uk)
Tue, 3 Sep 1996 23:25:37 +0100 (BST)


From: Stewart Brodie <S.N.Brodie@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Message-Id: <16799.9609032225@dsse.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: PROPOSAL FOR A MULTI-COLUMN SELECT ELEMENT WITHIN A FORM  FIELD
To: gasmith@advtech.uswest.com (Greg A. Smith)
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 23:25:37 +0100 (BST)
Cc: papresco@incontext.com, www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <322C82DC.6996@advtech.uswest.com> from "Greg A. Smith" at Sep 3, 96 01:11:24 pm

Greg A. Smith wrote:
> 
> Paul Prescod wrote:
> > 
> > The multicolumn listbox is a very common device useful for input, output and
> > data navigation on many platforms. I agree that it is a reasonable extension

I've never heard of the concept.  I've read people's comments that they
need/would very much like to have multiple column selection boxes, but why
is one long scrolling list not sufficient?

> > to the Web's forms capabilities. Even Netscape uses a device like this for
> > choosing helper applications (in the Windows version at least). In fact, if
> > you go through Netscape's entire preferences notebook, this device is the
> > only one that cannot be done in HTML.

I've just gone around to another lab where there is a machine with
Netscape 3 on it to look at the helper application thing and don't see
anything with multiple columns in it ... unless you mean the single list
with three manually aligned fields in it?

> Thanks for your input.  I hope that someone from Netscape or MS will
> follow this thread.  I believe that if I can communicate to them why
> this is so important, that they will get behind the effort to
> incorporate these changes or at least change the current implementation
> of the SELECT widget in Windows so that it will respond to the PRE
> tag.

Surely that is a bug, or are you talking about the rendering of the
OPTION texts within the user interface component representing the
selection?  How does that relate to my implementation of select as a
context sensitive menu produced by my middle mouse button?  I can't affect
what font is used for the menus ... the desktop font is a system-wide
property.  If the desktop is a monospaced font such as Corpus (= Courier
on MS) then things would like up with careful spacing, but you'll never be
able to line up multiple entries without complete presentational control
over the rendering of <select>

As it stands, my desktop font is Homerton (= MS's Arial I think?) which is
non monospaced, so whilst if the <option> tags occur within a <pre>
section of HTML the spacing between the words in the following example
increases, it is not by an entire character width - only by the width of a
proportionally spaced space:

<pre><select name=s><option>Option 1<option>Option  2
<option>Option   3<option>Option    4</select></pre>

-- 
Stewart Brodie, Electronics & Computer Science, Southampton University.
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~snb94r/      http://delenn.ecs.soton.ac.uk/