Re: INPUT enhancements - was Re: SELECT NEST proposal (fwd)

MegaZone (
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 22:39:03 -0800 (PST)

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: INPUT enhancements - was Re: SELECT NEST proposal (fwd)
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 22:39:03 -0800 (PST)
From: MegaZone <>

Once upon a time Simon Cox shaped the electrons to say...
>> I can't think of any places where alpha would be useful.  
>... but it is only a small extension, so why not?

'Why not' is NEVER a good reason to an engineer.

Good engineers abhor featuritis - if there is even one decent use for it,
then it can be justified.  Otherwise it is bloat.

>On this I disagree strongly - eg what about choosing 
>a position given in kms along a route?  Maybe its 
>because I'm a natural scientist ... 

Then you get into the whole thing on how many decimal places, accuracy, etc...

I say a text field where that can type in 3.14159 is better than trying to
get it on a slider or dial.

>>    3.  granularity/quanta
>> I'm not sure if this is needed.  But I think it is.  Does anyone
>> have an example of where it's useful?
>This is essential for floats (how many decimal places??), and 
>useful in all cases

Which I can see being broken in implementations already.  You know some 
browser is going to set their own limit on this as 'good enough'.  What
advantage does a slider have over an input field for a value that you
want to be this accurate?  Trying to stop a slider just right is a bigger
pain then simple typing the value in.

>>    5.  selector scaling - linear (default), logarithmic, ?reciprocal,
>>    ?square etc
>> I'm not sure this is nessisary.
>Again - as a natural scientist, who wants to create services for other 
>natural scientists, I need to have non-linear scaling.  Maybe this would 
>not be a priority in initial implementations, but I don't think 
>it is overloading anything much.  

What different does the physical presentation make?  7.2 is still 7.2, no
matter how far it is spaced from 6 on the display.  I don't see the point
in altering the input display at all.  It you want logarithmic just put a 
field label so the user knows what they are selecting.

>>    6.  discontinuous ranges?
>The main reason for menus, sliders, check-boxes etc
>is to restrict choices to valid ones only!

How fine can this be?  How many ranges per value?  What kind of comparison
is done to check?

If those issues can't be hammered out, this won't be useful at all.

>Text entry fields are the hardest to handle, 

How so?  I don't have trouble with them.

>Since a major reason for using sliders rather than 
>text entry is to prevent the user setting invalid values, 
>then if part of a range is inaccessible, you shouldn't be able to choose

This is easily checked now in the CGI, I do it all the time.  It might be
nice to have this on a slider - but unless you can hammer out the fine
details it is too open to consider viable.

>> For this to become really useful, you have to convince browser writers
>> that they want to support it.
>... so, how do we go about that!!??!!  

1. Pick a diety.
2. Start praying.

Basically, you hope that they will see your idea and think they can make
money off of it.  Or is that too cynical?

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