On Feb 16, 2014, at 12:42 AM, Ryosuke Niwa <rn...@apple.com> wrote:

> On Feb 15, 2014, at 11:30 PM, Alex Russell <slightly...@google.com> wrote:
> 
>> On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM, Ryosuke Niwa <rn...@apple.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> 
>> I’d like to propose one solution for
>> 
>> [Shadow]: Specify imperative API for node distribution
>> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=18429
>> 
>> because select content attribute doesn’t satisfy the needs of 
>> framework/library authors to support conditionals in their templates,
>> and doesn’t satisfy my random image element use case below.
>> 
>> 
>> == Use Case ==
>> Random image element is a custom element that shows one of child img 
>> elements chosen uniformally random.
>> 
>> e.g. the markup of a document that uses random-image-element may look like 
>> this:
>> <random-image-element>
>>   <img src="kitten.jpg">
>>   <img src="cat.jpg">
>>   <img src="webkitten.jpg">
>> </random-image-element>
>> 
>> random-image-element displays one out of the three img child elements when a 
>> user clicks on it.
>> 
>> As an author of this element, I could modify the DOM and add style content 
>> attribute directly on those elements
>> but I would rather use shadow DOM to encapsulate the implementation.
>> 
>> 
>> == API Proposal ==
>> 
>> Add two methods void add(Element) and void remove(Element) to content 
>> element.
>> (We can give them more descriptive names. I matched select element for now).
>> 
>> Each content element has an ordered list of *explicitly inserted nodes*.
>> 
>> add(Element element) must act according to the following algorithm:
>> If the content element's shadow host's node tree doesn't contain _element_, 
>> throw HierarchyRequestError.
>> If element is already in some other content element's _explicitly inserted 
>> nodes_
>> then call remove with _element_ on that content element.
>> Append _element_ to the end of _explicitly inserted nodes_.
>> 
>> remove(Element element) must act according to the following algorithm:
>> If the content element's _explicitly inserted nodes_ does not contain 
>> _element_, throw NotFoundError.
>> 
>> Throwing exceptions is hostile to usability.
> 
> If people are so inclined, we don’t have to throw an exception and silently 
> fail.
>> Remove _element_ from _explicitly inserted nodes_.
>> 
>> The idea here is that _explicitly inserted nodes_ of an insertion point A 
>> would be the list of distributed nodes of A but
>> I haven't figured out exactly how _explicitly inserted nodes_ should 
>> interact with select content attribute.
>> 
>> I think the simplest model would be _explicitly inserted nodes_ simply 
>> overriding whatever select content attribute was
>> trying to do but I don't have a strong opinion about how they should 
>> interact yet.
>> 
>> I don't think it makes sense to support redistributions, etc... at least in 
>> the initial API.
>> 
>> 
>> This proposal has an advantage over the existing proposal on 
>> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=18429:
>> It doesn't require UA calling back to JS constantly to match elements
>> Point 1 implies we don't expose when distribution happens for select content 
>> attribute.
>> This doesn't seem like progress. I'd hope an imperative API would, instead, 
>> be used to explain how the existing system works and then propose layering 
>> that both accommodates the existing system and opens new areas for 
>> programmatic use.
>> 
>> We can imagine such a system for programmatic Shadow DOM with some sort of 
>> distribute(Element) callback that can be over-ridden and use add/remove 
>> methods to do final distribution.
> 
> The problem here is that such a callback must be called on every node upon 
> any state change because UAs have no way of knowing what causes 
> redistribution for a given component.  As as a matter of fact, some use cases 
> may involve changing the node distributions based on some JS objects state.  
> And having authors codify such conditions for UAs is much more cumbersome 
> than letting them re-distribute nodes at their will.

To give you more concrete example, in the case of my random image element, how 
can UA notice that user clicking on the element should trigger reconstruction 
of the composed tree?  Should the script call some method like redistribute() 
on the host upon click?  But then, since the element needs to pick a child 
uniformly random, it probably needs to keep track of the number of children to 
be distributed and return true exactly when that node was passed into the 
callback.  That’s an extremely cumbersome API at least for my use case.

- R. Niwa

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