W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > December 1996

Re: anchor awareness (was Re: Richer & richer semantics?)

From: W. Eliot Kimber <eliot@isogen.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 16:26:02 -0900
Message-Id: <3.0.32.19961227162552.00b9cddc@uu10.psi.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 02:27 PM 12/23/96 -0800, Terry Allen wrote:
>Eliot writes:
>| >No, because A's NAME isn't an ID in HTML.  It's just a CDATA label.
>| >That's true of HTML 3.2, also, and there will be nothing to stop
>| >people doing the same in XML (and for the same reasons), although
>| >in XML they may also use IDs (production 52).  
>| 
>| Good point, although there's no reason the HTML NAME attribute *couldn't*
>| be declared as an SGML ID--it has to be unique within the document.  Of
>| course, HTML  has a very expansive definition of what constitutes a name or
>| name start character...
>
>Er, no.  There is no requirement in RFC 1866 that A's NAME be unique within 
>the document, and in fact the absence of such a requirement could eventually 
>become a feature of HTML by facilitating n-ary links.  And HTML's 
>definition of a name start character is exactly the RCS's.

Ugh.  I didn't realize that.  I can see the benefit, although I would think
that 999 times out of a 1000 the intent will be to uniquely identify parts
of HTML documents, especially since none of the Web browsers I know of
support multi-object link ends (at least IE and Netscape don't appear to).

There is generally a distinction between a "label" and a "name", where
labels need not be unique (ignoring programming languages that use unique
labels) and names, which are unique within some name space.  I would argue
that HTML has confused these two and seriously undermined the general
concept of NAME with the NAME attribute of the A element.

Of course, since we don't have to worry about replacing HTML or even
emulating it, it's a moot point.

Cheers,

E.

--
W. Eliot Kimber (eliot@isogen.com) 
Senior SGML Consulting Engineer, Highland Consulting
2200 North Lamar Street, Suite 230, Dallas, Texas 75202
+1-214-953-0004 +1-214-953-3152 fax
http://www.isogen.com (work) http://www.drmacro.com (home)
"Rats in the morning, rats in the afternoon...if they don't go away, I'll be
re-educated soon..."                 --Austin Lounge Lizards, "1984 Blues"
Received on Friday, 27 December 1996 18:27:29 EST

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