[webkit-dev] Supporting css ime-mode property

Alexey Proskuryakov ap at webkit.org
Tue Oct 5 15:04:06 PDT 2010

On 05.10.2010, at 14:31, Ryosuke Niwa wrote:

> That's exactly why we need to activate IME there.  If I understood his comment, Kenichi is saying that we need to activate IME to type names in Katakana while we need to deactivate IME to type in card numbers, etc... not that website disables IME to restrict the input to Katakana.

Not sure. He wrote "For instance, name of the user must contain only Katakana", which seems to be a restriction. I have also been surprised by that - it sounded like Katakana can be typed even with IME disabled on Windows.

> I don't think we can limit it to pages with lang="ja" because I speculate that most of Japanese websites don't specify the language.  I'm quite confused as to why you're so concerned about adding this property because we're not changing the default behavior of WebKit by supporting this new property.  If anything, developers don't use this property and their websites work as they do today.  And if some websites decide to use ime-mode, I'd expect them to know what they're doing.  This might mean that such websites won't work for users who don't regularly use CJK languages but many of CJK websites don't target such users anyways.

These are expectations that don't usually work on the Web. Every feature is used everywhere, as long as it can be passed for working upon a cursory inspection. Someone usually finds a way or two do something intentionally malicious, too.

Many features also indirectly take away user's ability to do something that was possible before, and workarounds are often complicated. For an ancient example, advanced CSS and (even more) DHTML took away the ability to print any page. Fixing this involved media specific stylesheets, additional author effort, expectation change from users (lots of pages still cannot be meaningfully printed, and users now find it OK). Many new features negatively affect accessibility. For the majority, benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and workarounds are found.

Now, ime-mode is not such a grande feature that's likely to change how people use the Web :-). I just took some extreme examples to explain why adding features isn't harmless, even if they are initially expected to only be used for good only.

Since ime-mode is obviously backwards looking (better support for existing sites that do a wrong thing), and doesn't make the Web platform more powerful, it shouldn't be a surprise that it was met with criticism.

> As far as I checked on Firefox 4.0b6, it is implemented and works as expected.  Do you have a different version of Firefox?

I tested <https://www.aeoncredit.co.jp/NetBranch/cardinit.do> with 3.6.10 on Mac.

- WBR, Alexey Proskuryakov

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