Re: Popup windows: problems and some solutions

Chris Josephes (cpj1@winternet.com)
Thu, 21 Mar 1996 22:01:41 -0600 (CST)


Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 22:01:41 -0600 (CST)
From: Chris Josephes <cpj1@winternet.com>
To: Heikki Vesalainen <wes@clinet.fi>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Popup windows: problems and some solutions
In-Reply-To: <3151A00F.75FD@clinet.fi>
Message-Id: <Pine.SOL.3.91.960321214529.18037B-100000@tundra>

On Thu, 21 Mar 1996, Heikki Vesalainen wrote:

> Chris Josephes wrote:
> 
> > We already have the proposed <FN> tag, so why are we even bothing with 
> > <A NAME> and <A TARGET>.
> 
> (did you even bother to read the memo I wrote)
> 
> We are not bothering anymore with the A TARGET (I think), and the FN tag 
> (as I have a million times told on this list) is not compatible with the 
> older browsers.  When you refer to an <FN ID="fool">...</FN>, it's done 
> with <A HREF="#fool">...</A>.  This leads to the problem that old 
> browsers are looking for the <A NAME="fool">...</A>, and if there isn't 
> such, they will go to the end of the file (netscape goes), or nowhere!

Your post to the previous digest clearly mentioned TARGET="_popup"

And yes, if you link to a different part of a document that is associated 
with a tag the browser dosn't understand, then obviously you're going 
nowhere.

But the point of the A element is to serve as an anchor.  I doubt that 
the NAME attribute will go away due to it's amount of usage, but <A NAME> 
dosn't necessarily mean that the element will be a Footnote.  It could 
just be a target to another point in the document.

<FN> clearly identifies the selected text as a footnote.  Thus, the 
browser, serach robots, etc, etc, clearly understand the purpose of 
the enclosed text.

> 
> > NAME and TARGET currently don't work as a method for implementing
> > footnotes (or Pop-Up Notes, whatever), so why is everyone so excited
> > about it.  It's already been pointed out that there are problems with
> > implementation, along with conflicts of nested A tags.  All of which
> > would be alleviated by using FN to indicate a footnote section in the
> > same HTML file (or even a different one).
> 
> There seems to be no conflict with the A tag, as most browsers just look 
> for the <A NAME="..."> and they're not even waiting for </A>.  (why would 
> they be, there's no reason for them to do so).

Huh?  You're saying <A NAME> dosn't require a closing </A>?  That dosn't 
sound right.

> 
> > But now we have questions about "how should it pop up?  what size
> > should it be? how will it be printed?"  They're valid concerns but
> > they're secondary above all else.
> 
> These have been clear all the way from the beginning, just check the 
> original at http://www.clinet.fi/~wes/popup.html
> 
> > Yes, FN is not widely implemented, but it's already been proposed.  Why
> > are we trying to reinvent the wheel when it's full of holes and it 
> > still won't get you any further than the original?
> 
> Because the FN is not good. It will mess up the old browsers. 

Tables mess up older browsers.  I'm not saying we should always jump on 
the new technology bandwagon, but let's at least realise that unless your 
page is strict HTML 2.0, it can't be guaraunteed to work on every browser 
out there.  There are pros and cons to using anything out there that 
hasn't been standardized.

If you're really concerned about implementing footnotes right now, you 
WILL have to use <A NAME> to specify the target (perhaps in an endnote 
section).  But don't expect <A NAME> to grow into a tag for implementing 
footnotes.  In the end, it's probably a whole lot easier to just 
create/propose a new tag instead of changing the defintion of one that's 
been around since the beginning.

> Heikki Vesalainen
> http://www.clinet.fi/~wes/
> wes@clinet.fi

----------------------- Christopher P. Josephes ----------------------------
Email |  mailto:cpj1@winternet.com
Web   |  http://www.winternet.com/~cpj1/