Re: New <AREA> syntax proposal

Jordan Reiter (jreiter@mail.slc.edu)
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 09:13:04 -0400


Message-Id: <l03010d00afc3007ec395@[198.77.183.172]>
In-Reply-To: <199706100106.SAA04100@Comps.COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 09:13:04 -0400
To: Dan Miser <dmiser@Comps.COM>
From: Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
Subject: RE: New <AREA> syntax proposal
Cc: www-html@w3.org

> >Anyone care to comment about the following:
> >
> ><AREA [[SHAPE="shape"] COORDS="x,y,..." | COLOR="color"]
> >[HREF="reference"] [NOHREF]>
> >
> >> Hmmm...I'm not sure this is the best solution to the problem.  And
> it would
> >> be awfully confusing, especially taking into consideration the
> varying
> >> number of colors that each browser could tolerate.
>
> I'm not quite sure how you define "confusing". Browsers already
> support the concept of color. For example, see the bgcolor element of
> the <body> tag. Browsers also have the concept of "browser-safe"
> colors and RGB colors. Say you have one image with 10 octagons (all
> different colors). Wouldn't this proposal be a better solution than
> the current <area> definition?
>
> For example,
> <AREA COLOR="RED" HREF="jumptored.htm">
> <AREA COLOR="BLUE" HREF="jumptoblue.htm">
>
> If the user clicks on a red spot in the image, then they use the href
> defined for that color (jumptored.htm).
>
> While I think this proposal has technical merit, I am only one person.
> I think it would be best to post your reply to the mailing group where
> others can scour your post and evalutate its merit in conjunction with
> my original post.
>
> Thanks for your reply.
> Dan Miser

Whoops.  Sorry.  I forgot to reply-all.  Well, a couple more comments...

I don't think the "color" alternative is a better solution than the current
area definition. First, the BGCOLOR element eventually sends its message to
a draw function inside the computer.  The computer may or may not be able
to show that color at all (if you choose BGCOLOR="navy", for example, it
will show up as black on a black and white computer).  BGCOLOR and other
tags that indicate color still don't actually process this color.  And
you're assuming that the pictures that authors would use would be simpler,
with very basic colors (your prolific polygon example).  Just imagine if
someone *had* made these buttons, but felt that simply making a series of
shapes might be confusing.  What if they labelled them for clarification?
Well then, whatever color the person had used to label each polygon would
instead point the browser elsewhere.  Thus the only pictures allowable
would be plain, blank color polygons, with no labels or explanatory icons
(red on red is invisible).  So how would you instruct the person browsing
the site, especially if the number of colors grew large?:

"If you want to see the menu, click on the light yellow-green polygon.
 If you want to see pictures of me, click on the dark yellow-green polygon
 If you want to send me e-mail, click on the cyan polygon..."
get the point?  Defining shapes by colors limits both the graphical
possibilities of the images (they would have to be blocks of flat color) as
well as difficult coding (particularly the calibration between the exact
color of the image and its hexadecimal code).

All in all, I see few problems with the AREA tag as it is now.  While it
may be tedious to draw all those polygons for the MAP, it's a great deal
more flexible than a color restriction.  Although I suppose adding it to
the AREA tag wouldn't kill anyone.

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[                    Jordan Reiter                     ]
[            mailto:jreiter@mail.slc.edu               ]
[ "You can't just say, 'I don't want to get involved.' ]
[  The universe got you involved."  --Hal Lipset, P.I. ]
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