Re: Suggestion: ALTHREF attribute

Benjamin Franz (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 18:16:23 -0800 (PST)

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 18:16:23 -0800 (PST)
From: Benjamin Franz <>
To: Liam Quinn <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: Suggestion: ALTHREF attribute

On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Liam Quinn wrote:
> At 01:43 PM 15/01/98 +0000, James Green wrote:
> >
> What about
> <LINK REL="Alternate" HREF="" TYPE="text/html">

That would demand that a document be loaded *before* you could find an
alternate to do it that way. Not very useful.

You need something that binds URLs to other URLs *before* they are
actually fetched. And it needs to be much more flexible than LINK allows. 

Something more like:

        ALTURL="" RANDWEIGHT="0.6"
        TYPE="text/html; q=0.7" LANG="EN; q=0.9" SIZE="6545">
        ALTURL="" RANDWEIGHT="0.8"
        TYPE="text/html; q=0.7" LANG="EN; q=0.9" SIZE="6545">
        ALTURL="" RANDWEIGHT="0.5"
        TYPE="text/html; q=0.7" LANG="JP; q=0.9" SIZE="8343">
        ALTURL="" RANDWEIGHT="0.4"
        TYPE="text/xml; q=0.8" LANG="JP; q=0.9" SIZE="8343">


This would be an example of a resource mirrored to four locations in two
languages and two formats, and would degrade harmlessly in older browsers.

A reference link like <A HREF="">The Link</a>
would be resolved in preference order first by language, 'nearest' domain
second, Content-Type with quality ratings, with any tie being broken
randomly finally (this would be the implict final mode if not declared
anyhow). The alternative to RANDOM would be 'ORDERED' where the *first*
MIRROR satisfying all the requirements would be chosen by preference.

I would love a 'MINTIME' or 'MINHOPS' option, but think that proxy caches
would render them useless in practice.

RANDWEIGHT would allow you to bias the RANDOM option towards or away
from particular servers to help you balance loads between servers.

Benjamin Franz