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Re: LINK Element Confusion

From: Frank Boumphrey <bckman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 23:51:13 -0400
Message-ID: <016901bdc800$9c1ddd40$04aedccf@ix.netcom.com>
To: <drbojxn@netdoor.com>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>

>Link source/destination confusion Ka-Ping Yee

I was unable to find the letter you refered to in the archives
the <LINK> element is potentially extreamly useful especially as a source of
Linking meta-data.

The problem is that it is not used, so it is ignored by application
developers. However there is no reason why an author designing an Intra net
could not use it.

>Not only is there confusion regarding definitions of REL and REV, as
>pointed out by Mr. Yee; but, also, confusion regarding values these
>attributes can take

Here is a list of values that REL and REV can take (This is of the top of my
head I may have missed out one or two). remember all the REL is doing is
indicating the kind of RELationship that the document containg the LINK tag
has to this one, so that REL=COPYRIGHT would indicating that the link is
pointing at a document containing copyright material.

if the same link contained REV=START, it would indicate that as far as the
COPYRIGHT document was concerned, this was the first in a series of


Under B4, the paragraph, "Indicate the Beginning of a Collection",
>states use rel="start" but the example that follows has rel="begin".

BEGIN and START mean the same thing do they not? Both REL=START and
REL=BEGIN merely indicates that the document the link is pointing to can be
considered the start in a series of documents.

>I have seen various statements to the effect the user agents "don't
>do anything intelligent" with <LINK> information anyway. Could all
>this confusion have some bearing on this?

User Agents use the LINK to connect to style sheets. What can be more useful
than that.

The main use of LINKS as I see it is for "bots" that stumble across your
page can orientate themselves if this is one in a long series of documents.
I think that it was designed to give Meta-data about the page. See the
comment about the link element given below.

You are right though in implying that an element is only useful if used.

We have a chicken and egg situation. Bots will not be programmed to look for
link information if most pages don't use it, and most Authors will not put
in a descriptive LINK element if they can't see the use for one.

Other useage will be with the DOM, when you can access the content  of the
element. Intranet designers could make full use of this element to keep
track of a large site.

. Maybe it
>would be used more if the average HTML author could be given a simple
>explanation of its use and a simple set of rules to follow.

OK On every page you make put the following

<LINK REL=START HREF=[homepage url]>

I don't do this but perhaps I should!

(the following is pasted  from the strict4.dtd)

<!--================== The LINK Element

  Relationship values can be used in principle:

   a) for document specific toolbars/menus when used
      with the LINK element in document head e.g.
        start, contents, previous, next, index, end, help
   b) to link to a separate style sheet (rel=stylesheet)
   c) to make a link to a script (rel=script)
   d) by stylesheets to control how collections of
      html nodes are rendered into printed documents
   e) to make a link to a printable version of this document
      e.g. a postscript or pdf version (rel=alternate media=print)

<!ELEMENT LINK - O EMPTY               -- a media-independent link -->
  %attrs;                              -- %coreattrs, %i18n, %events --
  charset     %Charset;      #IMPLIED  -- char encoding of linked
resource --
  href        %URI;          #IMPLIED  -- URI for linked resource --
  hreflang    %LanguageCode; #IMPLIED  -- language code --
  type        %ContentType;  #IMPLIED  -- advisory content type --
  rel         %LinkTypes;    #IMPLIED  -- forward link types --
  rev         %LinkTypes;    #IMPLIED  -- reverse link types --
  media       %MediaDesc;    #IMPLIED  -- for rendering on these media --


Frank Boumphrey

XML and style sheet info at Http://www.hypermedic.com/style/index.htm
Author: - Professional Style Sheets for HTML and XML http://www.wrox.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Bo Holloman <drbojxn@netdoor.com>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: <ping@foresight.org>
Date: Friday, August 14, 1998 10:04 PM
Subject: LINK Element Confusion
Received on Friday, 14 August 1998 23:50:07 UTC

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