WHATWG Looking for Comments on First Draft of Web Forms 2

Sunday June 27th, 2004

Ian Hickson writes: "The WHATWG is looking for comments on the first stable draft of the Web Forms 2.0 specification. The Web Forms 2.0 specification addresses requests made for new features to be added to the Forms features in HTML4. New features include new input control types for dates, times, e-mail addresses, and numbers; a new client-side validation model; a way to mark input controls as required; a repetition model; control over form submission so that forms can be updated instead of causing the page to be replaced; and more. Comments should be sent to the WHATWG mailing list."

#1 Implementation?

by prokosch

Sunday June 27th, 2004 1:30 PM

I assume, Opera will have an implementation of Web Forms as soon as it's finished. Any Mozilla implementation planned?

#2 Implementation?

by prokosch

Sunday June 27th, 2004 1:35 PM

I assume, Opera will have an implementation of Web Forms as soon as it's finished. Any Mozilla implementation planned?

#3 thumbs up

by morg

Sunday June 27th, 2004 4:24 PM

This is very, very cool.

#4 Impressive

by brolewis

Sunday June 27th, 2004 5:57 PM

I read over this document and I must say that it is quite impressive. As a developer of both websites and web applications, a number of these proposed additions would make my development process noticeably easier. I can only hope this is the direction the industry decides to take.

#5 Re: Impressive

by Psiren

Monday June 28th, 2004 3:05 AM

Bah! While this looks like some interesting stuff, unless IE supports it it's pretty much dead in the water. I'd love to see them do so, but I won't hold my breath.

#6 Re: Impressive

by erik

Monday June 28th, 2004 3:59 AM

There are client side implementations for IE planned (and a prototype of this already exist).

#19 Re: Re: Impressive

by shodan

Tuesday July 6th, 2004 2:23 AM

Where? I'd like to see it!

#7 Re: Re: Impressive

by Willow

Monday June 28th, 2004 4:12 AM

I'm not sure IE support is necessary. Many webapplication are distributed to a limited population and that make it easier to demand a browser with Form 2.0 support. Much like many applications rely on runtime libraries like VB and .Net. This is actually a good way to reduce the IE market share and to force Microsoft to do something about their old browser.

#18 Re: Impressive

by Ashmodai

Monday July 5th, 2004 9:06 AM

I'm even more impressed by the readability of that spec. The normative parts are very precise, yet they are easy to understand.

Definitely something the W3C has yet to learn.

#8 Textarea

by Shift

Monday June 28th, 2004 5:52 AM

Textarea need a maxlength attribute

#9 yes

by hixie

Monday June 28th, 2004 6:35 AM

that's in the Web Forms 2 spec already. :-)

#11 Re: yes

by Shift

Monday June 28th, 2004 11:03 AM

"The maxlength attribute applies to textarea controls. "

Yes \o/ I haven't seen this small line :)

#10 Graceful degradation and back-door implementation

by modok

Monday June 28th, 2004 8:22 AM

Maybe some of my questions are not in the scope of this document, but they seem important for adoption to me...

What is going to be the best practice for pushing these forms that do not natively support web forms 2.0?

Will it use JS property/UA string to determine how to load hunks of ECMAscript to emulate this behavior? If so, will this be some common boiler-plate code from a one-stop download site for making web forms 2 applications? For the parts that can't be implemented with ecmascript (is there any behavior that cannot be implemented in ecmascript?), will it degrade gracefully (I suspect I read the spec too lightly...though I can see stuff like form elements in head with an id attribute which I doubt would work very well in HTML)?

This evolutionary approach to improving forms is long overdue and it looks like the benefits of it will outweigh the liabilities of using something new. For it to be successful, I think a lot of effort needs to be put into a an easy to use emulation package for IE. So simple that the IE-only designers can almost just click on it and start writing apps immediately. The simpler the setup the more successful I think this will be (using the new tags themselves are so intuitive to an HTML jockey that I doubt that will be much of a factor in adoption). With the IE team forming again...who knows perhaps a spec like this can lead the bull by the nose ring...

#12 Re: Argh...2

by roc

Monday June 28th, 2004 1:06 PM

> With the IE team forming again...

Why do you say that?

#13 Re: Re: Argh...2

by modok

Monday June 28th, 2004 1:34 PM

I tihnk it is from this blog entry:

Did I misread this?

#17 Re: Argh...2

by roc

Tuesday June 29th, 2004 7:13 AM

That's interesting. Of course, this guy's job is just to collect customer feedback. The question is whether there are any engineers on the project. Especially, any engineers who worked on MSHTML guts before.

I think there's a strong possibility that this is just Microsoft not wanting to make it *too* obvious just yet that they're screwing their customers by walking away from IE.

#15 Re: Re: Argh...2

by fitz

Tuesday June 29th, 2004 5:10 AM

Yes, microsoft is getting their team back together and looking at a bunch of enhancements for IE for Longhorn. They have yet to set priorities, but they have actually set up a wiki their developers are looking at. Check out

#16 Re: Argh...2

by roc

Tuesday June 29th, 2004 7:09 AM

As far as I can tell, that's a place for customers to vent, with no guarantee whatsoever that Microsoft will do anything about.

#14 Re: Graceful degradation and back-door implementat

by michaelg

Monday June 28th, 2004 11:24 PM

Given that Web Forms 2 won't remove the need to do server-side validation (you'll still need to check that the supplied data *is* a date, that a string doesn't exceed maxlength, etc.) then it will degrade gracefully anyway: When the user submission fails server-side validation, the form will need to be redisplayed indicating what the problem is. So it doesn't really matter if a browser does or doesn't support Web Forms 2, or if you emulate if using JS or not.

What Web Forms 2 does is free web devlopers from having to clutter up their pages with redundant JS just to get a nice user experience. I'd be inclined to let people who use browsers that don't support the new spec just have a less-than-nice user experience rather than still doing JS validation. Give them some impetus to upgrade to a useful browser.

#20 There is no development on IE

by chriswa

Thursday July 8th, 2004 8:51 AM

Microsoft terminated any new IE development in 2003. There are merely "maintaining" the product (read: bug fixes). All new efforts and energy are going into Avalon and XAML. Microsoft is essentially integrating the browser into the O/S and thus the WHATWG initiative is vital to Mozilla's longevity.

I also think that when Longhorn ships the Linux desktop will be "mature" enough for customers to consider. Not all users will embrace Longhorn right away especially backoffice users and if Microsoft hopes to extract a premium on the client, I think a lot of users will consider Free/OpenSource solutions.

I think the time is right for solution providers to offer to migrate customers from Microsoft to Open sourcee solution such as FireFox and Thunderbird and thus it will be easier to migrate those customers to Linux by 2006 when Longhorn is scheduled to be released.

#21 Cross-browser Implementation of Repetition Model

by complinguist

Thursday January 18th, 2007 10:50 PM

An open source cross-browser implementation of the WHATWG Web Forms 2.0 Repetition model is available:

A test suite has also been provided which tests the functionality of this and other implementations: