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[Bug 12148] I strongly believe disallowing 'true' and 'false' in boolean attributes will cause significant confusion in the future. Already, you can find respected web developers incorrectly referring to attributes as true and false. For instance: http://blog.getif

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:19:11 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1PrcDv-0003i3-5f@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #3 from Kyle Simpson <w3c@getify.myspamkiller.com> 2011-02-21 20:19:10 UTC ---
(in reply to comment #2)

> Due to the way browsers work right now, there are sites specifying "false" as a value for boolean attributes and expecting the "true" behavior.  Sad, but that's the web for you.

I've investigated and asked around, and never found a single valid example of
this. The only example, cited in the Mozilla bug thread I linked in my previous
comment, was in one of Qooxdoo's feature tests. I asked the author of that test
why, and he said essentially "there's no reason and it could easily be changed,
and should be."

I know there's plenty of fear that the exception for "false" would cause
breakage, but I really haven't seen anything other than wild conjecture to
support that claim.

I'd love it if someone could find some real world examples to disprove my
claim. I'd love to investigate just why on earth they'd do something like
disabled="false" to mean disabled=true. If we can find any examples of that,
I'm strongly bet those sites are doing so by mistake or misunderstanding rather
than intentionally.

And if the landscape of those incorrect uses is pretty small (and all
accidental rather than intentional), and thus the breakage wouldn't really be
as horrible as people assume it would be, I don't see why some evangelism to
those sites couldn't address the problem.

Of course, if someone could come up with even one solid counter-example of why
blah="false" really needs to mean blah=true, then I'd give up this ghost. But
so far I still contend every example that we *might* find is going to boil down
to oops rather than intention.

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Received on Monday, 21 February 2011 20:19:12 UTC

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