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[whatwg] Solving the login/logout problem in HTML

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:12:11 -0800
Message-ID: <492ED4EB.2060209@metalab.unc.edu>
Henri Sivonen wrote:

> That seems like a bad optimization. Adding an off-the-shelf HTML parser 
> to a bot is much easier than tuning the general crawling functionality 
> and task-specific functionality of a bot.

I suspect this will require far more of the bot than merely parsing 
HTML. Many login forms today effectively require human intelligence to 
process. After all it's not merely logging in that's at issue but 
registration. Frankly the current state of the art is one of the most 
broken and misdesigned aspects of HTML 4, and that's saying a lot. :-(

I'll have to consider the detailed proposal, but I tend to think that 
the solution lies in allowing forms to integrate better with HTTP 
authentication, not in eliminating HTTP authentication. A form action 
should be able to set the necessary HTTP headers. Also it should be 
possible for a form to easily tell the web browser to logout. And it 
would be nice to have something stronger than HTTP digest authentication 
for unencrypted channels, though I'd have to leave it to the experts to 
say if that's possible.

-- 
Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321503635/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
Received on Thursday, 27 November 2008 09:12:11 UTC

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