W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > September 2002

Re: Comments on HLink

From: Bill Daly <billdalynj@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 11:12:18 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20020927181218.89407.qmail@web40513.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-html@w3.org

--- Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl> wrote:
> You are apparently unaware of the target attribute:
>     <a class="external" href="http://www.w3.org/"
> target="_blank">W3C
> Site</a>

Aware of it, yes.  Fond of it, no.  I'm still somewhat
mystified by its presence in XHTML 2.0 after it was
pulled out in XHTML 1.0 Strict.  If specifying a
target on a link was a bad idea then, why is it
suddenly a good idea again?

I also don't like the idea of putting it back in after
it's been taken out just because of the confusion it
could cause.

Also, if I'm reading this correctly, the current XHTML
2.0 working draft only applies target to the <a>,
<link> and <form> elements.  That's not of much use at
all considering the ability to make any element a link
in XHTML 2.0.  But perhaps I'm merely misreading that
or maybe it's a misprint.

Then of course there's some issues I have with XFrames
itself, but that's a topic for another mail.

> > As far as I can see from the Hlink Draft, it would
> > still be done the first way in HLink, as there
> would
> > be no real way of associating an hlink with only
> that
> > particular <a> element in the document, only the
> <a>
> > element in general.
> Sure: HLink can assign an effect to an attribute,
> which you can put on an
> element.

Yet one of the arguements I've seen pop up often in
the XLink vs HLink debate is that XLink didn't fulfill
its goal of not having to change the markup to define
links.  If I was to assign an effect to an attribute
as suggested, then wouldn't I have to go into the
markup and add that newly defined attribute everywhere
that I'd desire that effect?  It's just simpler to use
the class attribute which would already be present in
the markup, and be able to create one hlink element in
the head that could control the behavior of all these

While it's not an exact idea of what I'm thinking of,
the "element" "class" and "idref" attributes which I
suggested in my last mailing would be similar to CSS
selectors.  Whereas, the CSS selector a.external would
be equivalent to attributes of element="a" and
class="external" in an <hlink> element.  And with just
that one class, whch already exists in the markup, I'd
be able to both style and define link behavior for
that class however I see fit.

> HLink was designed for defining namespaces rather
> than document instances.

Well then, in that case, I don't see much of a future
for it at all.  An XHTML document author would have
absolutely zero reason to use it at all.

But if we had something with a structure similar to
what HLink has now, with the ability to actually
select elements within the document, perhaps with
CSS-like or XPath-like selectors...well then I'd say
we were on to something that could be used for a great
many purposes, something greater than HLink, something
greater than XLink.  Something that could have much of
the original behavior desired of XLink, while meeting
the unreached goal of not having to make any changes
at all to the markup.

I'd say that's something that many would welcome in
regards to the current HLink vs XLink debate.

Bill Daly

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Received on Friday, 27 September 2002 14:12:53 UTC

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