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[Bug 19025] New: Add a "filter" attribute. If set, the user agent will filter the datalist. If not, filter won't be filtered automatically (unless you do some sort of filtering by javascript or/and server-side)

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:55:23 +0000
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-19025-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

           Summary: Add a "filter" attribute. If set, the user agent will
                    filter the datalist. If not, filter won't be filtered
                    automatically (unless you do some sort of filtering by
                    javascript or/and server-side)
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: Other
               URL: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#the
        OS/Version: other
            Status: NEW
          Keywords: NE
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P3
         Component: HTML5 spec
        AssignedTo: dave.null@w3.org
        ReportedBy: contributor@whatwg.org
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: ian@hixie.ch, mike@w3.org,
                    public-html@w3.org, annevk@annevk.nl,
                    jonas@sicking.cc, mounir.lamouri@gmail.com

This was was cloned from bug 9785 as part of operation LATER convergence.
Originally filed: 2010-05-21 09:26:00 +0000

 #0   contributor@whatwg.org                          2010-05-21 09:26:28 +0000 

Add a "filter" attribute. If set, the user agent will filter the datalist. If
not, filter won't be filtered automatically (unless you do some sort of
filtering by javascript or/and server-side)

Posted from:
 #1   Jonas Sicking                                   2010-08-04 18:36:59 +0000 
We ran into this issue too when discussing the firefox implementation of

Two usage scenarios we could see for <datalist> are:

A static set of completions which the user will usually choose between. For

<input list=managers>
<datalist id=managers>

A dyanmically populated list based on more complex conditions. Consider for
example the google autosuggest feature.

function handleInput(value) {
  var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
  xhr.open("GET", "/suggestions.cgi?" + value);
  xhr.onload = function() {
    document.getElementById("suggestions").innerHTML = xhr.responseText;
<input list=suggestions oninput="handleInput(this.value);">
<datalist id=suggestions></datalist>

In use case 1 it makes sense for the UA to only display results that contain
(or even starts with) the string that the user has typed so far. In use case 2
it makes sense to display *all* the results that the server cgi script thought
were relevant. For example if I type "200 sek" in google, the first result it
shows is "200 Swedish kronor = 27.9998 US dollars".

I suspect that letting the UA apply filtering is a reasonable default. However
it would be very good to be able to set a boolean attribute on either the
<input> or the <datalist> stating that filtering should not happen.
 #2   Ian 'Hixie' Hickson                             2010-09-10 09:16:36 +0000 
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
you have additional information and would like the editor to reconsider, please
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Status: Rejected
Change Description: no spec change

Currently the spec doesn't say if there should be filtering or not — it just
says that these are the suggested values and leaves the UI to the UA.

The idea here is to provide a combo box, not to provide a "Google suggest"-like
interface. The latter would probably be better handled by a pure JS solution
with callbacks.

I would recommend that browser vendors play with offering different attributes
(using the vendor-extension syntax!) to experiment with what the best way to
extend this feature would be, and report back. We can then update the feature
 #3   Mounir Lamouri                                  2010-09-30 20:50:50 +0000 
Gecko has this kind feature implemented (will be in Gecko 2.0/Firefox 4).
Reopening to keep that in mind.
 #4   Mounir Lamouri                                  2010-09-30 22:12:27 +0000 
This thread describes the current Gecko behavior and why we do that:
 #5   Ian 'Hixie' Hickson                             2010-10-03 18:37:57 +0000 
Thanks, I'll take a look and see if the implementation experience suggests spec
changes are needed.
 #6   Ian 'Hixie' Hickson                             2010-10-12 06:26:13 +0000 
The current situation (a mozNoFilter attribute) seems reasonable for
experimentation. Let's revisit this a few months after this has been shipped
widely, and see how people are using it. I think this is definitely an area
where we'll need to add new features to the platform, but I'm not sure it makes
sense to do it straight away — we don't want to go too far down a rabbit hole
without the reality check of author usage, the further we go the harder it will
be to climb back out, as it were (e.g. we'll end up with features that are
hardly used but used enough to require implementation everywhere, which is a
high burden on the platform).

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Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 21:55:25 UTC

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