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Please do not forbid <link rel=bookmark - actually exploit it

From: Cecil Ward <cecil@cecilward.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2008 17:51:11 -0000
To: <public-html-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c88c45$5131a820$f394f860$@com>

I notice that the HTML5 Working Draft 22 March 2008 states that "The bookmark keyword may be used with a and area elements" and seems to forbid the use of rel=bookmark with LINK elements.

Do not do ban this idiom with LINK elements. There's no earthly reason to and it's a missed opportunity.

I suggest that

	link rel="bookmark" href="#id" title="Description of fragment of this document"

is an incredibly useful technique for accessibility enhancements. In fact I suggest that you promote this technique.

The critical point about this idiom is that the target href is a fragment identifier within _the current document_ (that is href="#id_something"), and that it is a way of exposing to the UA and to the user a set of significant entry points in the document.

For example
(1)	link rel="bookmark" href="#nav" title="Navigation"
(2)	link rel="bookmark" href="#maincontent" title="Main content"
	link rel="bookmark" href="#secondarycontent" title="Secondary content"
(3)	link rel="bookmark" href="#switchlang" title="Other languages"

Hopefully examples (1), (2) are self-explanatory. Example taken from a multilingual website (3) exposes the section of the current document that contains a navigation list with links to alternative language versions of the document and allows the user to switch to a different language.

I suggest inserting a paragraph describing this idiom's usefulness as way of exposing to the UA and to the user a set of significant entry points in the document.

This technique could serve as a safe replacement for the discredited accesskey feature.  It is discoverable, machine readable and self documenting. UAs (and/or javascript enhancement functions) could even build a table of such entries for the user to pick from.

If you feel that changing to a new different rel=keyword would be better, maybe we should do so.

But there is a fantastic opportunity here, however we do it.

Thoughts?

Cecil Ward.
Received on Saturday, 22 March 2008 17:53:35 GMT

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