"Browser Spec" [was: Input areas in <select> & <option> ]

Daniel W. Connolly (connolly@hal.com)
Fri, 9 Dec 94 15:17:53 EST

In message <ab0ebed416021004d479@[]>, Dirk Herr-Hoyman writes:
>I don't want to get the discussion too far off track here, but this does
>raise a question as to which IETF WG is responsible for WWW forms.

In the beginning, there was the HTML spec and the HTTP spec. IETF working
groups have formed around these documents.

A document which has been sorely lacking for a long time is the
much-alluded-to "browser spec." It doesn't exist; nor does an
IETF WG to maintain it.

>Since there is a proposal for forms enhancement that was at least submitted
>to this list, I thought my question would be an appropriate one here.

Since there is no browser spec, the HTML spec is where folks look for
this info. So you're as on track as you could be, for the time being.

I think a browser spec should be drafted something along the lines of
the way RFC822 defines an internet mail user agent (and RFC 1521
refines it...)

It would say things like:

* The web is, in general, a graph, with documents as the
nodes, and links as the edges. A WWW user agent "visits" a
node by displaying the content of the node, and allowing the
user to navigate any links to neighboring nodes.

* Links are typed. Here's a list of the link types, and what
they mean: From:, Reply-To:, Precedes:, Supercedes:, Parent:,
Subdocument:, ....

* Each node an address, called Uniform Resource
Locators. See RFC... for details.

* A minimal WWW user agent must support text/plain and text/html
body parts. See RFC822 (and RFC1521) for text/plain, and

* A minimal WWW user agent must support HTTP/1.0
See RFCXXX for HTTP details.

* Forms are optional. If you do them, here's now they work...
See RFCXXX for details. (This one doesn't exist, but somebody
could start on it right away...)

Any takers?