W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: Marking up links to alternative versions of content

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 18:30:28 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240650c2d7b5507452@[]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 10:37 +1000 UTC, on 2007-08-02, Jason White wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 08:30:52PM +0200, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
>> Skipping for a moment whether UAs actually do anything with <a
>> rel="alternate">, I wonder what it should *mean* in this case. The markup
>> doesn't define what it is an alternate for. So I'd guess that it could only
>> be interpreted as an alternate for the entire document.
> It could instead be defined as an alternative to the parent element.

"Defined in the spec to have that meaning in that situation" is what you
mean, right?


> However, there are two difficultes with the rel="alternate" anchor proposal:
> 1. UAs treat links as requiring explicit activation actions on the part of
> user. As with @alt and <object> fallbacks, however, it should not be
> for the user to take explicit action to download and render an alternative to
> a media element that he or she cannot, or has chosen not to, render.

Yeah. Agreed that that's a problem.

> 2. Since a rel="alternate" link cannot specify to which element it is an
> alternative, it cannot serve as an alternative to <embed>, since the latter
> specified as having an empty content model. Thus, rel="alternate" doesn't
> solve the problem that it was intended to address of providing an explicit
> association between media elements and corresponding alternative content. To
> overcome this, an additional attribute of type idref would have to be
> introduced.

Agreed. That's what led me to suggest a boolean "equiv" attribute, to be
combined with @for pointing to an id (and I'm not claiming there are no
downsides to that ;)). See

> This is why I would prefer the introduction of a new element, <alt> to carry
> alternative content, assuming that <audio> <video> and <embed> are going to
> remain in the spec.

How would <alt> indicate what it is an alternative for?

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Thursday, 2 August 2007 16:39:26 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:25 UTC