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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Object inside a form?!

When I was browsing through the Deer Park Alpha 1 changelogs, I found one interesting line:

Object should submit
In accordance with the HTML4 specification, <object> elements can now be submitted as part of a form.

My first reaction is: what?! What would be submitted?

I quickly google myself and found the relevant pieces inside the specification. However, I still don't get it.

In the specification of object element, it defined the name attribute of object element as:

  name        CDATA          #IMPLIED  -- submit as part of form --

Oh well, then it is just like other form controls! But hey, that's not the end of story:

Please consult the section on form controls for information about OBJECT elements in forms.

Oh well... let me consult it then:

Each control has both an initial value and a current value, both of which are character strings. Please consult the definition of each control for information about initial values and possible constraints on values imposed by the control. In general, a control's "initial value" may be specified with the control element's value attribute. However, the initial value of a TEXTAREA element is given by its contents, and the initial value of an OBJECT element in a form is determined by the object implementation (i.e., it lies outside the scope of this specification).


object controls
Authors may insert generic objects in forms such that associated values are submitted along with other controls. Authors create object controls with the OBJECT element.

and also

  • The current value of an object control is determined by the object's implementation.

Now I'm confused. Appearantly user agent is free to implement in whatever way it wants. How would a web developer know what value would really be submitted? Sound like a rather useless form control to me...

It would be nice if someone would point me to the corresponding bug report. I tried searching it myself and the closest bug in bug 178026, which is bearly related.


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