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Re: can <MAP> be used soley to group links?

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 12:50:39 -0400
Message-ID: <3985AE5F.8AA28F5B@w3.org>
To: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
CC: www-html-editor@w3.org, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
"Leonard R. Kasday" wrote:
> 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>
> </MAP>
> 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.

That's not my reading of the spec:

"name: This attribute assigns a name to the image map 
       defined by a MAP element."

One use of this name value is to be the value of the
usemap attribute on another element. But name may serve
other purposes (e.g., it could be used in scripting).

I don't see a contradiction. "Usemap" is one consumer
of MAP/name.

> 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 
> region"
> 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 
> corrected?

Again, I don't see a contradiction. But it might be little clearer:
If your A elements are associated with an image, then specify
the geometric reasons. Authors aren't required to put in geometries.
Most of this section is about image maps, so the language is
tailored towards that application of MAP, AREA, and A. 
But, the following sentence clearly indicates that an image
is not required:

  "The MAP element may be used without an associated image for
   general navigation mechanisms."

 - Ian

> Or is it a mistaken belief that <MAP> can be used solely for the purpose of 
> grouping links?
> Thanks much in advance.
> Len

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Monday, 31 July 2000 12:51:22 UTC

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