Re: Forms and Tables

Tom Magliery (
Fri, 3 Feb 95 19:06:12 EST

>So I would like to have a discussion about how FORMs and TABLEs should
>interact, an issue not addressed in the current proposed HTML 3.0 spec.
>If this list is not a good forum for such a discussion, could someone
>point me to a better one?
>Basically, for maximum usefulness, I would like to see FORMs be able to
>both contain TABLEs, and be able to be contained within TABLEs.
>For example, I would expect people to want a form, that has
>within it a table of text input fields.
>I can equally imagine a table where each row is an array of text entry
>cells, with the rightmost cell being the submit button for that form.

In general, our feeling is the same. I agree that it is easy to envision
applications for both of the above. For another example, I can imagine
using tables to get, say, two complicated forms side by side on the page.

Right now NCSA Mosaic (I'm talking Windows here; our implementation of
tables is most stable there) supports at least my example, and probably
both of Eric's. (I'll have to check to be sure.)

Since FORMs can't be nested, what problems would we run into with something
like the following:

<FORM ...>
some stuff
<TR><TD>some more stuff<BR>
<FORM ...>
still more stuff
<INPUT TYPE=.....>
this is yet more stuff

I can parse that, and there's an obvious choice for what the "inner" submit
button should do. For the "outer" submit button, are the "inner" inputs to
be considered part of the form? (My inclination would be no.)

Are there any specification problems (DTD-wise) with allowing something
like this while still disallowing nested FORMs? Should the "interleaved"
nesting be restricted, say, to a certain level?

Can anyone else think of bizarre examples that will cause problems?


Tom Magliery ** NCSA ** 605 E Springfield ** Champaign IL 61820 ** USA