Re: Enhancements to html forms

Steve (
Wed, 29 Nov 1995 11:20:28 +1100 (EST)

Simon wrote:
> At 10:52 AM 28/11/95, Marc Salomon wrote:
> >I disagree. One big win for HTML has been that it puts simple GUI design in
> >the hands of document authors instead of restricting it to programmers. Issues
> >of applet language encumberance and security aside, languages such as Java or
> >safetcl will still require a degree of programming expertise that experience
> >has shown is not required to design a simple GUI.
> Hear hear! Thanks for that Marc. That has been my experience
> completely. While I have done a fair bit of programming through
> the years, I am no software engineer and OO has passed me by, unfortunately.
> I quite enjoyed putting together what I did using standard "FORMS" tools,
> and I think the enhancements I was discussing would provide a huge
> capability without having to go to applets!

You have little argument from me. It *is* a shame that we are losing one
of the attractions of the Web to applet technologies - the fact that you don't
have to be a computer scientist to author and publish information.

Unfortunately, as far as I see, HTML will never keep up with the constant
demand for new features, despite its extensibility. Today we want numeric
input fields, tomorrow floating-point, next week something else... Applets
fill the gap. I hope to see large libraries of plug-'n'-play applets emerge
that will provide these special features, or at least applet templates that a
non-programmer could quickly adapt to their needs.

The "challenge" for form authors is to cater for _both_ applet-enabled and
non-applet-enabled browsers. It shouldn't be that hard to do, but some
may simply not bother (how many Web pages declare that they "look best when
viewed by <browser name deleted> v1.1"? There's really no need for it,
except laziness).

My $A0.02 worth.

Steve Ball