Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: Google at it again

Oh yes, the thing which made the obnoxious "Web 2.0" crowd throw all the toys out of their pram, wasn't it? It's interesting that you previously mentioned the WHAT-WG and their supposedly superior work on standardising the Web, which mostly seems to involve the main participants implementing fancy gadgets in their browsers and then writing them up in the WHAT-WG specifications as some kind of exercise in legitimacy. Here's an example of the WHAT-WG relevance factor these days:

http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#broadcasting0

Quite where broadcasting to Bluetooth devices fits into the Web and why there's a rush to standardise this (and presumably deal with the security implications later) remains as much a mystery as why there are special sms and smsto protocol schemes in the Web Forms 2.0 specification, and yet no-one seems to be interested in getting basic stuff like character encodings done in a sane way:

http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-forms/current-work/#the-charset

Anyway, I'd like to see a decent response to Jim's last comment on the "GWA and RFC 2616" article. It seems to me that the form toolkits used by the "Web 2.0" crowd really must be toys if they fail to support the relatively simple use case he puts forward.

Comment on Google at it again
by The Badger

Comments:

You mean his suggestion to use <input type="submit" name="delete-id-1" value="Delete this address"> ? There a couple problems with this: (a) no nested forms, so it can be difficult to put a submit button in an arbitrary location, and (b) there remain links that are not "safe", but are truly link-ish, and (c) there's less control available over buttons, which can be a problem in some circumstances (buttons tend to be visually weighty, and CSS controls are limited).

Unsafe GET links did not start with Web 2.0 apps; they are as old as the web itself, and old and largely unmaintained web applications have these bugs. The idea that we should "fix" these applications because GWA exposed a "bug" is incredibly unrealistic. Though in a practical sense, it does seem that this incarnation of the GWA is somewhat improved, as it doesn't prefetch links with variables (i.e., ?). Maybe that will be enough, I'm not sure.

# Ian Bicking

Web Forms 2 supports nested forms in XHTML. It also supports a form attribute on form controls so you can associate them with any form even when they are not a descendant of any. Quite cool and there are some experimental implementations out there.

# Anne van Kesteren