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Re: anchors

From: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 00:26:02 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <20011211.002602.74733062.mimasa@w3.org>
To: www-html@w3.org
Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net> wrote:

> >[RFC 2396] http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt
> HTML 4.01 doesn't reference this RFC, it references RC 1808 which
> mandates the described behaivour.

It is well-known that Section 4 of RFC 1808 was quite misleading, 
which was clarified in RFC 2396, as noted in "G.4. Modifications
from RFC 1808" of RFC 2396:

   RFC 1808 (Section 4) defined an empty URL reference (a reference
   containing nothing aside from the fragment identifier) as being a
   reference to the base URL.  Unfortunately, that definition could be
   interpreted, upon selection of such a reference, as a new retrieval
   action on that resource.  Since the normal intent of such references
   is for the user agent to change its view of the current document to
   the beginning of the specified fragment within that document, not to
   make an additional request of the resource, a description of how to
   correctly interpret an empty reference has been added in Section 4.

The very first draft of revising RFC 1738 and RFC 1808 published in
November 1996 [1], well before (even the first draft of) HTML 4.0,
already included this clarification, and this issue was discussed at
length on the uri mailing list (such as a thread in May 1997 [2]).
Actually "7.4. Fragment Identifiers" of RFC 1866 [3] was carefully
written to mean that a fragment identifier refers to an anchor in
the *same document*.  It would have been better if HTML 4.0 clarified
this issue, and it would have been better if HTML 4.01 changed that
reference from RFC 1808 to RFC 2396 (an erratum for clarification
is in order), but the intended behavior has been what is described
in RFC 2396.

[1] http://www1.ics.uci.edu/~fielding/url/draft-fielding-url-syntax-00.txt
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/uri/1997May/0061.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/html-spec_7.html#SEC7.4

Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa@w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Monday, 10 December 2001 10:26:11 UTC

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