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Overlays in HTML4 and XHTML

From: Daniel Glazman <danielglazman@easyconnect.fr>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 11:27:46 +0000
Message-ID: <41330F2D.4060408@easyconnect.fr>
To: www-html@w3.org


Those of you who have already looked at XUL, Mozilla's UI language, know
how Gecko uses Overlays. To make it very simple, XUL overlays are a very
easy and very powerful client-side merge/append mechanism of XML
instances based on IDs.

It's a so cool way of doing, so useful, so maintainable, so bandwidth-
friendly that it's a pity HTML 4 (I mean both the spec and the UAs)
cannot be extended to use overlays...

Cannot? Wait. Why? Because it's not in XHTML2? Because it has been decided
that HTML 4 won't be extended? Bah.

So I did it. It's still experimental, and all issues are not resolved, in
particular wrt accessibility, but I am glad to offer a simple way of using
Overlays in HTML 4, working fine in Internet Explorer and Gecko-based browsers.
It's reported that Opera chokes on it, but with the excellent work Håkon's team
is doing on Opera these days, I'm sure it can be fixed on our side.


Of course, it works in xhtml too. The cost is incredibly high :-) A new value
"overlay" for the rel attribute, and one script element (to add the machinery).
Completely transparent to the web page's visitor.

Note to the HTML WG: you want it for XHTML2 ?-)

Received on Tuesday, 31 August 2004 03:00:15 UTC

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