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Re: Feedback wanted: revalidate forms for direct input and file upload

From: Brett Bieber <brett.bieber@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 09:37:27 -0500
Message-ID: <efa010fb0709140737r6744798bq6d8cc71d8eb35b3b@mail.gmail.com>
To: "www-validator Community" <www-validator@w3.org>

On 9/12/07, olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org> wrote:
>
> Dear all,
>
> Feedback from Alastair a week or two ago have prompted action on an
> older usability enhancement idea.
> In a way similar to how the results of the validation of an online
> document include a form to validate the document again (allowing a
> recursive process of fixing and checking), the idea was to provide a
> similar mechanism for direct input and file upload.
>
> For the file upload mode, there is no perfect solution, because, for
> security reasons, a browser will never, ever pre-populate a file
> selection box. This leaves us with two choices:
>
> 1) the validation results include an empty file selection box, with
> instructions telling the user that the file has to be added again.
> This is still better usability-wise than having to return to the home
> page and fill in the options again, but it is not hard to imagine
> people complaining that the validator is broken, why does't it pre-
> fill the box, etc, etc.
>
> 2) the validation results include a textarea pre-filled with the
> source of the uploaded file, just like in the direct input mode. This
> allows for easy modification and re-validation of the content, but
> the shift in mode (upload -> direct) is plagued with technical issues
> (no media type, hence, different XML detection modes; charset in
> direct input is always utf-8...) which would, in some case, cause
> revalidation to give seemingly incoherent results.
>
> I think the potential for confusion in 2) is too big to use the idea
> as is, so I guess 1) is the way to go. If anyone has an idea, or
> thoughts on how to make this work, they would be much welcome.
>


I agree, option 1 is the way to go for now.  But I do fear that users
will simple hit the revalidate button without selecting a new file -
even with instructions to do so. Perhaps the revalidate button can be
hidden until/unless a file is selected? The link to the file-upload on
the fail page should get users to the right place if they refresh or
hit revalidate without choosing a file.

In thinking this through a little more - I think the ultimate solution
would be to provide the tabbed interface again on the results page.
Right now we show a form again for re-validating, pre-populated with
your selections, but positioning of the form inputs is different, and
it is limited to the method you chose originally. Without adding too
many pixels and moving the results down the page further, I think the
tabbed interface could be shown again (prepopulated with defaults,
encoding and doctype, and a results header). Then we can give them the
same interface they started with.

Then your option 1 and 2 can be accommodated by prepopulating the
direct-input textarea with the uploaded file content --- accessible by
just choosing that tab on the validation results page.

This would be a major change I wouldn't want to undertake without
major support from Olivier et-al and I'm not sure I could even handle
that large of a change myself --- and definitely not by 0.8.2 so
perhaps a future enhancement if users thought this was a good
direction to go?

For right now though, I think option 1 works well.

-- 
-Brett Bieber

http:saltybeagle.com aim:ianswerq
Received on Friday, 14 September 2007 14:37:39 UTC

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