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RE: <table type="rowsortable">

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2007 21:01:09 -0400
Message-ID: <1835D662B263BC4E864A7CFAB2FEEB3D258BAE@msfexch01.srunet.sruad.edu>
To: "Preston L. Bannister" <preston@bannister.us>, <public-html@w3.org>

Preston Bannister wrote:
>This is behavior, and better implemented in script.  

>The browser does not have enough information to sort.  Declarative markup is doomed to be incomplete, >compared to behavior that can be implemented in script.

Generally, I'd tend to agree, if it weren't for the inconsistencies of DOM's and CSS implementations, which make writing a script to do so obvious a thing, completely nontrivial. 
I think there are six or eight obvious ways of sorting a single column, together with infinitely many other less obvious ways. It sounds like a list of attribute values could handle the obvious ones. Yes, there are alternative ways of representing numbers (Roman numerals, base 10, comma-delimited etc.) and there are alternative ways of representing dates -- but sprinkled widely throughout existing W3C specs I see references to "allowable" data types, so it seems like a wee bit of inspired analysis could easily pick off the 85% of the cases authors would most likely wish to use. 
Is it worse to bulk up the browser with well-written compiled code or to bulk up the web with bloated quirks-mode client side scripts? Are we making life easier for authors or for browser developers? I think a lot of authors would love it.
I guess I remain unconvinced of the futulity of this. 
I agree with Anne van Kesteren that the WHATWG considers active tables from a much broader perspective than the sortable tables concept I suggested, though I didn't see quite the same functionality in there (perhaps I'm just missing it). In general, I like the way WHATWG seems to have considered the broader issues pertaining to active tables however. If someone needs a more modest proposal for some future compromise of some sort, then "sortable tables" could be it.
David Dailey
Received on Sunday, 8 April 2007 01:00:56 UTC

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