Re: Suggestion: ALTHREF attribute

James Green (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 13:43:45 +0000 (GMT)

From: James Green <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 13:43:45 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Suggestion: ALTHREF attribute

On Fri, 16 Jan 1998 14:53:10 +0200 (EET) Jukka Korpela 
<> wrote:

[ snip example ]

> Actually, these address other problems than the one I presented and
> for which I suggested ALTHREF. First, the LINK REL="Alternate" construct
> is fine but it defines a relationship between the document where it occurs
> and another document (and I suppose the intended meaning was that the
> other would be real alternative, such as translation or abridged
> version, as regards to content or form, not just another address where
> another _copy_ of the document resides). Second, I'm not sure what
> a MIRROR element (or LINK REL="Mirror") would achieve in practice.

1) The 'taken' meaning was a good idea in itself, IMO.

2) Alternative versions of texts could very well be difficult to 
implement. What do you define as being 'different' about it? Sounds a 
bit like a version of Benjamin Franz's idea to me.

> I was specifically thinking of links created using the A element and
> simply providing alternative addresses (of copies of essentially the
> same document). The same idea might be applied to a LINK element, too,
> whether its REL="Alternate" link or something else.

[ ... ]

> Actually it looks just like my proposal except for the name of 
the new
> attribute. (ALSO is certainly more legible than ALTHREF. I just thought
> we might need to stick to the classical obscure naming style of HREF, :-)
> But naturally it _would_ be an extension to HTML, although not a very
> radical one, just adding an optional attribute.

If you think about this closely, it does sound as if a new META element 
is being thought of:


If this was in a page originating in the domain, which was slow, 
and being viewed in american .com domain, the browser could quite 
easily give an option to change. Further mirrors could be included:

HREF2="" HREF3="">

You get the general idea.

The only problem it does not solve is if the source document itself 
cannot be retrieved for some reason or another. That could be up to a 
supplementary HTTP server redirecting requests to an appropriate 
mirror, but that's for the hardware guys to work on, not me.

As to the subject of indivivual links, HREF2, HREF3, etc., could all be 
put in, or would current browsers see the "HREF" bit too many times and 
decide to fall over?


James Green

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