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Ok, here's my suggestion...

From: Maury Markowitz <maury@sympatico.ca>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 20:53:44 -0500
Message-ID: <004301bf78e9$d29bc440$8634d1d8@default>
To: <www-html@w3.org>
  Thanks for all the encouragement to date.  This one is pretty trivial, but
I still think it's one worth dealing with.

  I recently re-did my site and include a "index" down the left side (as so
many do - but I did avoid frames!). I noticed that one of the tags I
inserted did not seem to be working, ALINK. My custom colors for LINK and
VLINK were definitely working fine, but the page you were on at the time was
definitely not coming up in ALINK color.

  Now of course all the long-timers here will recognize this newbie mistake
(and chuckle in some cases).  But the issue is why does ALINK do something
utterly unlike what it's name implies, and why is HTML missing this terribly
obvious and useful feature?  Here's the way I look at it...

LINK = links you haven't visited
VLINK = links you have Visited
ALINK = "active link" = the link you are currently on

  Instead ALINK does something totally unexpected. ALINK actually means "the
color of the link when the mouse button is held down on top of it".  I'm not
even sure this is of much use, nor can I fathom how they came up with the
name, or for that matter why they included it as a tag at all.

  So essentially my suggestion is for a tag that does what I think a _lot_
of people would want, one that changes the color of the link of the page you
are on to a set color.  For argument, let's call this TLINK for "this link".

  As it is I, and all the other designers out there with similar pages, need
to edit every page and change the color/style/image of the link to the
current page by hand.  This is a time consuming and error prone business
that could easily be automated.

  In keeping with replies to my former message:

a) this adds lots of value for a subset of users/designers for almost zero
cost
b) it degrades pefectly well - it's ignored
c) this isn't about physical layout
d) it should work fine under the XHTML as well

  Thanks for listening!

Maury
Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2000 20:52:00 GMT

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