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can <MAP> be used soley to group links?

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 12:01:48 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
To the HTML editor,

During discussions in WAI, people have been saying that in HTML 4.01 <MAP> 
can be used for the sole purpose of grouping links, i.e. without 
implementing an image map, e.g.

<MAP name="foo">  <!-- with no usemap referring to "foo" -->
   <A href="home.html"> home </A>
   <A href="contact.html> contact </A>

However, what I read in the HTML 4.01 spec seems to contradict this.

1. In 13.6.1 [1] . it says that the name attribute is required, and the 
comment says it's for use by usemap.  But there's no need for usemap if 
it's only for grouping.  So the reference to usemap seems to contradict 
that map can be used solely for grouping.

2. The document also says that

"Block-level content. This content should include A elements that specify 
the geometric regions of the image map and the link associated with each 

This also seems to contradict the idea that <MAP> can be used solely for 
grouping, since there's no need to specify geometry for such uses.

Are these simply editorial glitches in the 4.01 spec that need to be 

Or is it a mistaken belief that <MAP> can be used solely for the purpose of 
grouping links?

Thanks much in advance.


[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#h-13.6.1
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

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Received on Monday, 31 July 2000 12:00:19 UTC

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