[webkit-dev] pointer events specification - first editors draft

Benjamin Poulain benjamin at webkit.org
Thu Nov 22 13:43:46 PST 2012

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM, Rick Byers <rbyers at chromium.org> wrote:

> Outside of the design details, are there any thoughts or concerns
> about WebKit getting an implementation of pointer events at some
> point?

In my opinion, the pointer events spec is a bad idea (at least, in its
current state). I think adding it to WebKit would be hurting both the Web
and WebKit.

The premise of the specification is that using mouse event and touch events
interchangeably is needed. In reality, nobody was really asking for that
because it is a terrible idea. You can already easily unify pen, touch and
mouse by writing very little JavaScript, but it is only useful in very few

For the common case, where you want to use touch and mouse events
differently, the pointer events makes it harder to write correct code. Each
event have a set of attributes with different meaning depending on the
event type.

I also think there are some serious issues with the spec.

In particular, having apps state clearly and
> declaratively [3] whether a touch that starts on an element should
> result in browser behavior like scrolling or events which can be
> handled from JavaScript is potentially a big win for touch scrolling
> performance (something we struggle with in Chrome).

This is a straw man.
Chromium has implementation issues there, adding a new spec is not the
solution to your problems.

Having touch-action == "auto", the default, will have the exact same issues
as you have today.
Having touch-action == "none" does not buy you much since it would have
been implemented today by responding to the very first event.

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