Re: Tag proposal

Ka-Ping Yee (
Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:32:33 -0500 (EST)

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:32:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Ka-Ping Yee <>
Subject: Re: Tag proposal
To: Zenon Panoussis <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-Id: <>

On Fri, 8 Mar 1996, Zenon Panoussis wrote:

> New HTML link tag proposal.
> The trouble with links is that they can take you anywhere, and you never 
> know beforehand where that will be. What hides behind a link can be the 
> final answer to the main question, or a silly connection to somebody's 
> silly home page. You never know beforehand.

I agree that knowing the role of a given link is important.  However,
there has been a way to do this in HTML for a very long time -- it's
just that browser implementors have, for the most part, ignored it.

> we also interpret "Back" and "Next" 
> relatively when they come from the keyboards of different web authors.
> Three more directions are useful. "Up", which is also used in documents 
> today in the sense of "towards the more general", "Down", indicating a 
> dive in a particular issue that is deeper than the general scope of the 
> actual document and "Sideways", which could indicate either a side 
> issue within the scope of the document or an interesting but totally 
> different issue. "Sideways" could be split in its two possible meanings 
> or not. Appropriate tags would then be:
> meaning respectively back, forward, down, up, sideways and out. Embedding
> these tags in HREF-statements should present no problems.

What you are proposing is not a tag, but in fact an attribute to the anchor
tags (A and LINK).  But as it turns out, such an attribute already exists.  
Actually, there are two of them: REL and REV.  REL specifies the 
relationship of the target to the anchor, and REV specifies the reverse 
relationship (of the anchor to the target).  Common practice for 
identifying the author of a page, for instance, is to use

<link rev="MADE" href="mailto:the-author">

in the document's HEAD, thus indicating that "the-author" MADE the 
containing document.  There are several useful suggested values for REL 
and REV in a discussion paper on the topic by Murray Maloney, which you 
can find at

So, in short, the mechanism to do what you want is certainly there.
All we have to do is convince a browser manufacturer to implement
this mechanism.

Ping (Ka-Ping Yee):  3A Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada, St. Paul's College, Waterloo N2L 3G5, 519 7258008
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