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Background information on GET and XForms (was: GET should be enco uraged...)

From: Micah Dubinko <MDubinko@cardiff.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 13:42:25 -0800
Message-ID: <E840F0B7E6189547BDB91DA8BF2228AB28C185@csmail.cardiff.com>
To: "'www-tag@w3.org'" <www-tag@w3.org>
Cc: "David E. Cleary (E-mail)" <davec@progress.com>, "'paul@prescod.net'" <paul@prescod.net>, "'chris@w3.org'" <chris@w3.org>
Here is some helpful background information and a suggested resolution. This
message is to help the TAG make an informed decision, and is not on behalf
of the XForms Working Group.

The current (deprecated) state of GET in XForms started with a specific
request (members only) [1] to remove the 'urlencoded' serialization format
for internationalization reasons.

The XForms Working Group decided against removing GET, since the
Requirements [2] mandate a solution that encourages migration from HTML
forms, where GET is widespread, to XForms. The compromise position was to
continue to support, but deprecate, 'urlencoded' (members only) [3]. Since
'urlencoded' was the only method defined to work with GET, GET was
deprecated at the same time.

If recent messages on this list are a guide, deprecating GET is an unpopular
middle ground.

Suggested Resolution:

XForms should adopt a slightly modified urlencoding process using [4] as a
guide. Only UTF-8 encoding should be used for characters disallowed in URI
references (instead of following the encoding of the containing document, as
commonly implemented).

The XForms document should clearly spell out that:

* urlencoding is not encouraged for large amounts of data
* urlencoding is not suitable for sensitive data that would appear in the
URI and server logs
* this urlencoding approach is an improvement from current practice, and
thus might not be compatible with some implementations that expect an
OS-specific encoding

With this approach to urlencoding, no reason remains to deprecate GET. The
wording to that effect should be removed.

Comments?

.micah

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-forms/2001JulSep/0752.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-forms-req#from-html4
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-forms/2001OctDec/0033.html
[4] http://www.w3.org/International/2001/draft-masinter-url-i18n-08.txt
Received on Thursday, 24 January 2002 16:44:58 GMT

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