W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2000

RE: support for Salsman proposal for form-based device input

From: Piers Williams <PiersW@zinc.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 12:44:23 +0100
Message-ID: <0770EFD2075AD211B66C00A0C9E4E24BA898AD@ZINCEMAIL>
To: "'James P. Salsman'" <bovik@best.com>, www-html@w3.org
> From: James P. Salsman [mailto:bovik@best.com]
> Sent: 02 April 2000 07:58
> Dear Dr. Berners-Lee,
[...]
> My impression is that *you*, however, could have them all scrambling 
> to implement pure-HTML4-based microphone upload if you simply took a 
> public stand on it.

I cannot believe that if you took your campaign, with the energy you clearly
have, to the right people, that your point would not be heard.
But those right people would _clearly_ be the browser manufacturers. You've
implicly accepted (above) that nothing more needs adding to HTML than what
already exists.
 
> > 2. doing it yourself to an open source browser such as 
> Amaya or Mozilla;
> 
> Amaya doesn't even have the most rudimentary form of file upload.
> Mozilla's was broken for most of the past six months --
>   http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8209
> -- and I'm still working on it.

I am surprised that someone hasn't come to your aid on this. I would have
thought that it would be in Mosaic / Opera's advantage to 'own' these niche
markets with this kind of extra functionality. I seem to remember that
education-aimed functionality in Mosaic (browser slaving to a master
controler etc...) kept Mosaic alive in colleges long after it was
superceeded by others.

[..]

> It's occurred to me in the past couple days that integration with 
> the layout engines could be a lot simpler.  Currently INPUT TYPE=FILE 
> widgets are rendered with a text entry box for a filename, and a 
> "Browse..." button.
> 
> Suppose that when ACCEPT includes "audio/*" that another button, 
> labeled "Record...", for example, would be rendered, set up to 
> launch an external recorder helper application instead of set 
> within the layout.  And for "image/*" there would be a button 
> with "Capture photo..." or something like that, and "text/*" could 
> have an "Editor..." button, and so on for the other types.  That 
> could be done much faster than anything I've seen proposed by 
> anyone previously.

But this is what people on this (www-html) list have been saying to you for
_ages_. I haven't been here that long and I'm heard it a dozen or more
times. Your persecution complex with respect to the W3C process seems to
stem from the fact that at no point have you actually taken note of _what_
the W3C's objections to your proposal actually were (that it was
unneccessary, and the functionality you describe should be user-agent
determined).

However I accept your (earlier post) point about breaking backwards
compatability with earlier implimentations of the ACCEPT attribute. I think
that this should be discussed further as a seperate issue. My thoughts would
be that if - for backwards compatability reasons - Accept cannot be used,
then a good alternative would be the TYPE attribute, that is already widely
used to indicate a mime type for an externally loaded resource (though
admittedly this is slightly different from a list of acceptable, user
selected mime resources.

> Tim, how about if you just wrote an open letter to Microsoft and 
> Netscape, asking that they correct their interpretations of the 
> ACCEPT attribute (not a filename pattern!), and allow for 
> launching customizable file-input helper applications, with the 
> default for "audio/*" being the Microsoft Sound Recorder on 
> their wintel platforms, as a starter.  Would you please do that?

The best forum for pressure to impliment standards, rather than disuss what
they should be, is - IMHO - the Web Standards project
(http://www.webstandards.org/). If you reduce your proposal to presure just
to conform to the above paragraph, then there is no reason why they should
not adopt your cause (and I would certainally be in favour myself). However
whilst you remain determined to impliment this by changing HTML I can't see
them (or I) suporting you.
Received on Monday, 3 April 2000 07:54:13 GMT

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