W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2011

Re: [cssom-view] Need a variant of elementFromPoint that returns a NodeList

From: Simon Fraser <smfr@me.com>
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2011 19:25:50 -0800
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, www-style@w3.org
Message-id: <AB8B324A-8E77-49D6-B1DB-0FBD64BC9738@me.com>
To: "esprehn@gmail.com" <esprehn@gmail.com>
On Feb 8, 2011, at 7:01 PM, esprehn@gmail.com wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM, Simon Fraser <smfr@me.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 8, 2011, at 3:22 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> elementFromPoint() is defined to return a single Element, but apparently
>>> it is quite common for users of this API to find that the element at the
>>> given point isn't the element they want, because multiple elements are
>>> overlaid on the same spot on the canvas.
>>> It would be useful for such users if a variant of this API could be made
>>> that returns a (static) NodeList giving all the elements under that point.
>> I'm glad you said static!
>> Why would you want to return a node that can never be hit by the user?
>> If the author wants to make a node invisible to user events, they can use
>> the pointer-events property.
> The issue is not making the element invisible to user events, but
> selecting a "meaningful" element. For instance there's many extensions
> for browsers right now where you can draw on top of the page. It'd be
> useful to be able to select the nearest meaningful element (perhaps an
> entire paragraph of text, even though I clicked a single letter).
> When you account for positioning, a "glass" overlay, and many other
> factors elementFromPoint is difficult to use. That is, what you get
> back may be the glass overlay you put on the page, or it might be an
> absolutely positioned element that's actually invisible to the user
> (that just exists above part of the paragraph of text), or maybe it's
> a tiny image that's been absolutely positioned there, but the most
> "meaningful" element is the entire bordered area around the image.
> Right now we have to:
> 1. Hide the glass
> 2. Use elementFromPoint()
> 3. See if the element is meaningful
> 4. If not meaningful hide this element and call elementFromPoint() again.
> We've seen noticeable flicker from some browsers as the result of this.
> Here's other people trying to implement the same thing:
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1280660/given-an-x-y-coordinate-i-need-to-find-all-html-elements-underneath-it
> http://bytes.com/topic/javascript/answers/89463-finding-all-elements-specific-coordinates
> http://www.vinylfox.com/forwarding-mouse-events-through-layers/
> The last link does exactly what we do. Hide the mask, call
> elementFromPoint() and show it again.
> What I'm proposing is a way to "slice" all the way through the page on
> the z axis and get back a static node list so this wouldn't be an
> issue.

Thanks for the explanation. I think this is a reasonable request.

Received on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 03:26:48 UTC

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