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Re: Web-Forms 2.0: upload. Button apperance

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 10:02:04 +0100
Message-ID: <4646D40C.9030005@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

Anatoly Kataev wrote:
> Styling languages? You mean CSS? I agree to style <input class=file> 

I mean any styling language supported by the browser, of which CSS is 
probably the most commonly used.  The www-style mailing list is not 
restricted to the discussion of CSS, and is the appropriate mailing list 
for this issue.

> input with CSS, but give me point to link style and control. I cannot 
> even use "class=someclass" property to style button :^(

class is permitted and works for nearly every element in HTML, so your 
problem is not related to class.  You problem is that certain styling 
attributes cannot be applied to certain types of control on particular 
platforms because, for good reasons, the native controls are used and 
they do not provide easy means of implementing those style attributes.

>> For form controls, in particular, a reasons for user agents not 
>> allowing styling are:
>>
>> - controls tend to be complex to implement and the GUI platform
>>   already implements them, presumably correctly;
> I don't think that a "TextEdit with predefined button, which executes 
> OpenDialod on onButtonClick event" is implenented in _any_ platform,
> but TextEdit, Button and OpenDialog separately, i suppose, is 

There is nothing in HTML that says that the text box needs to be 
provided at all, but if it is, you have a compound of two controls, at 
least one of which is likely to be native, which makes targeting the
styling even more difficult.

> impemented. Also code, which applies CSS rules to single TextEdit or 
> Button already written in most UA's, so
> it can be used for styling <input class=file> in case if it will be 

I presume you meant *type*=file.

> written as two linked tags - <input class=file> and <input class=browse>.

Again, you are assuming the internal structure of the element.  Again 
you are on the wrong list.  Also note that this would have to be done 
with pseudo-classes, if the style sheets are CSS ones.  Pseudo classes 
are purely CSS concepts, they have no meaning in HTML.

> By the way, cases where no need to visualise button (user types file 
> name by hands) or TextEdit (user don't need to see selected file's name) 
> is possible too/

> 1. <input class=file> it's no so complex and hard to use.

input *type*=file is one of the most complex controls because it could 
be implemented in so many different ways and because most users will end 
up using one of the more complex native dialogues.

> 2. I can wish to set localized caption on button.  "users of Windows, 
> particularly the elderly" in my country used to read russian words, and 
> standard "Browse..." caption is useless for them.

That sounds like a bug in the browser. or a failure to properly localise 
the software installation, or to install properly localised software. 
Officially standardised versions of HTML don't require the use of words 
in any specific language, in the user interface.  If WHATWG's proposals 
force the use of English, that is a bug in their proposals.  It seems 
unlikely, but I've lost connectivity to their web site at the moment.

> 3. I don't want to replace upload control with someting "alien-looking", 
> i just offer to replace standart(?) upload control to 2 linked standart 
> Edit and Button controls. If you don't provide
> <input class=browse> for some <input class=file>, then <input 

I am still confused about whether you mean class or type.  Standard HTML 
does not change browser behaviour based on class, although style sheets 
and scripting may act on it.

> class=file> will acts like standart upload control and will visualise 
> Button with UA-dependent caption near right side of Edit.

And that UA should be localised properly, so as to display controls and 
menus in the correct language.  You are likely to get that problem 
fixed, if it is a real problem, rather than one of improper 
installation, faster than you will get support for workarounds provided.

There is one special case, which is ex-patriot users using communal PCs 
(libraries, where use is free in the UK, and internet cafes).  However, 
I don't think that that case applies here.  For library computers, a 
good librarian would, given that OSes tend to be multilingual these 
days, temporarily localise the PC for non-English speakers.

> But you will have choice.
>> In the end, HTML is an information communication tool, not a graphical 
>> tool.  
> So? Should we toss out styling of other input controls?

Many browsers cannot style other controls, and, in my view, styling them 
makes sites more difficult to use by those people who are not familiar 
with the web and deciphering a site's design metaphor.  The main use for 
styling, when UAs have provided it, has been to allow designers to make 
their sites not look like the standard user agent behaviour, and it is 
likely that a styled upload control will lead to an unstyled dialogue 
box, breaking the design by leaking the standard behaviour.

Note that the WHATWG doesn't include Microsoft, so anything specific to 
their version of HTML will probably not be adopted in IE until the 
market starts deserting IE.
Received on Sunday, 13 May 2007 09:02:17 GMT

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