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Re: Liaison statement on fragment identifiers from Linking WG

From: Shane P. McCarron <ahby@themacs.com>
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 19:38:35 -0500
Message-ID: <373B708B.459361E9@themacs.com>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
CC: Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>, Bill Smith <bill.smith@sun.com>, w3c-xml-cg@w3.org, w3c-html-wg@w3.org, www-html-editor@w3.org, w3c-xml-linking-wg@w3.org
I think that the only real issue here is that, according to the
definition of conforming user agent, user agents are required (at all
times) to process the semantics of the "name" attribute of the "a"
element as defined in HTML 4.0. This is because that recommendation is
included by normative reference, and we do not override the requirement
that name be processed.

Tim Bray wrote:
> I agree with Bill that a lot of people are going to ignore the
> recommendation and just go on using "name", and will be surprised
> and upset that this doesn't work when you serve the doc as
> text/xml.  Speaking for myself, I honestly can't really predict
> whether this will be a problem - there is a good chance that anyone
> who cares enough to issue a text/xml media type will take the
> trouble to get the IDs in order.

The good news is that the tool HTML Tidy from the W3C can do this you -
or at least help do it.

Basically, as I see it, we have two alternatives here.

We can change the definition of conforming user agent thus:

A conforming user agent shall interpret the id attribute of the a
element as a fragment identifier.  A user agent MAY interpret the NAME
attribute of the A element as a fragment identifier, but only when the
ID attribute is not specified for that element, and only when the
resource is labeled with the Internet media type "text/html".


Or, alternately, use the text I suggested in my last message on this
topic:

If the resource is served as text/html and claims to be an XHTML
document, examine XML-preferred attributes but permit fallback to
historical equivalents (id/name, xml:lang/lang)

If the resource is served as text/xml and claims to be an XHTML
document, only examine XML-preferred attributes.  If necessary, we could
even accomplish this through a different DTD - although I think that
might confuse content developers.  Rather, we would set a conformance
requirement that certain attributes are to be ignored in conforming
XHTML user agents when processing text/xml streams.

Such language could be added to section 3.2. User Agent Conformance

Note that I don't think this is a mandatory change, but a standards
lawyer might think otherwise.
--
Shane P. McCarron                              phone: +1 612 434-4431
Testing Research Manager                         fax: +1 612 434-4318
                                              mobile: +1 612 799-6942
                                              e-mail: shane@themacs.com

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Received on Thursday, 13 May 1999 20:38:33 GMT

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