Re: Form submission participation (was Re: Goals for Shadow DOM review)

On Feb 20, 2014, at 2:39 PM, Jonas Sicking <> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 2:09 PM, Edward O'Connor <> wrote:
>> +public-webapps, -www-tag in replies to avoid cross-posting
>> Hi,
>> Domenic wrote, to www-tag:
>>> [C]an shadow DOM be used to explain existing elements, like <video> or
>>> <input type="range">, in terms of a lower-level primitive?
>>> As of now, it seems like it cannot, for two reasons:
>>> 1. Native elements have extra capabilities which are not granted by
>>> shadow DOM, or by custom elements. For example, they can participate
>>> in form submission.
>> Authors need to be able to participate in form submission, but this is
>> independent of Custom Elements.
>> Web applications often maintain state in JS objects that have no direct
>> DOM representation. Such applications may want such state to be
>> submittable.
>> Existing form elements map one field name to many values. People often
>> build custom controls precisely because those controls hold more
>> complex values that would be better represented as many names to many
>> values. Subclassing existing form elements don't get you this.
>> And inheriting from HTMLInputElement is insane (not because inheriting
>> is insane, but because HTMLInputElement is insane), so that's not really
>> how we want author-defined objects to become submittable.
>> Given the above I don't think we should try to solve the "how authors
>> can participate in form submission" problem by enabling the subclassing
>> of existing form elements. Instead, we should define a protocol
>> implementable by any JS object, which allows that JS object to expose
>> names and values to the form validation and submission processes.
>> Something like this:
>>  function Point(x, y) {
>>    this.x = x;
>>    this.y = y;
>>  }
>>  Point.prototype.formData = function() {
>>    return {
>>      "x": this.x,
>>      "y": this.y
>>    };
>>  }
>>  var theForm = document.querySelector("#my-form");
>>  var p = new Point(4,2);
>>  theForm.addParticipant(p);
>>  theForm.submit();
>> This is obviously a super hand-wavy strawman and would need to be
>> fleshed out. Thoughts?
> Something like this seems awesome! I like that the .addParticipant
> function can enable random JS objects to participate in submission. A
> couple of comments though:
> I'm not sure if we should return a dictionary or an array. Keep in
> mind that a form control can have multiple values. This is something
> used by both <input multiple> and <select multiple>. Also keep in mind
> that order matters as many servers are sensitive to order.
> So we could either do `return { x: [5, 6, 7] }` where enumeration
> order determines submission order, or we could do `return [["x", 5],
> ["x", 6], ["x", 7]]`.
> Or, given that normally a single form control only has a single name
> and 0 to many values, we could do `return { name: "x", value: [5, 6,
> 7] }`.
> The other thing is that it would be great if elements that wanted to
> participate in submission didn't have to manually call addParticipant.
> This could be done by having the <form> element attempt check for a
> .formData property on any descendant that was added, and add any
> elements that has such a property as a participant automatically.
> We could even make the built-in form controls like <input> and
> <select> have a .formData() function which returns data in whatever
> format we decide is the right one.

What if we added "formparticipant" boolean content attribute and fired "formdata" event during form submission to serialize data?

This way, we can add more events like "validate" to support more features of builtin form elements.

- R. Niwa

Received on Friday, 21 February 2014 21:57:27 UTC