[webkit-dev] propose an API to return Range in <textarea> etc. form control nodes (similar functionality as document.caretRangeFromPoint)

Xiaomei Ji xji at chromium.org
Fri Oct 9 10:04:52 PDT 2009

Hi Olli,
Thanks for your comments.
I see your point.

Maybe I should propose Document.wordFromPoint() which  directly returns the
word under the mouse (and handles both the DOM node and non-DOM form control
It hides the information about the node and should be a useful API.


On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 12:25 PM, Olli Pettay <Olli.Pettay at helsinki.fi>wrote:

> On 10/8/09 10:07 PM, Xiaomei Ji wrote:
>> One use case is to show a tooltip of the word's definition in your
>> accept-language when you mouse over the word in a page.
>> It needs to
>> 1. convert the mouse position to character offset within a node (by
>> Document.caretRangeFromPoint()
>> <http://dev.w3.org/csswg/cssom-view/#the-documentview-interface>), and
>> 2. expand the range to 'word' unit.
>> It is useful for users, especially users from east asian countries, to
>> read the word's definition in their own language while browsing the
>> internet.
>> And it is also userful for users to check the word's definition in their
>> own language while composing something, such as email. This is why I am
>> thinking of displaying the word's definition for <textarea>. Which needs
>> Document.caretRangeFromPoint() returns the <textarea> node as the range
>> container node, and the offset as the character offset within <textarea>.
>> But Document.caretRangeFromPoint() is only allowed to return nodes in
>> the actual DOM, that a user would be able to get to by traversing from
>> the root node.
>> <textarea> node is not part of the DOM.
>> Document.caretRangeFromPoint() cannot return a Range in a <textarea>
>> since that Range would not be in the DOM.
>> I would like to propose another API in Document which has the same
>> functionality of Document.caretRangeFromPoint() but also works for
>> <textarea> etc. form control nodes that are not part of the DOM.
> Do you really want to expose those (native) anonymous DOM nodes to
> web? What should happen if one tries to append them to normal DOM?
> Or removes them? Or adds (mutation) event listener to them?
> I think we need a bit different kind of API for form controls.
> -Olli
>> I do not have a good name in mind for such API yet.
>> Would like to hear what you think. Any comments are appreciated!
>> Thanks,
>> Xiaomei
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