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[XHTML2] Poor little old <a>

From: Ernest Cline <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 20:31:25 -0400
To: www-html@w3.org, www-html-editor@w3.org
Message-ID: <3E94831D.26111.544D0F9@localhost>

Let's face it. There is very little purpose that <a> serves in the 
current working draft. About the only thing it still has going for it 
is that links specified by <a> are still supposed to look like links.

I have an idea that might just revive a reason for <a>, nested <a>'s.
Right now, Mozilla implements nested <a>'s in XHTML1 so that only the 
outer <a> really matters. (The spec says nested <a>'s should not be 
used but that XML provides no way to exclude them. They cannot occur in 

However, what if nested <a>'s were treated in a manner similar to 
<object>  That is, suppose we have the following XHTML fragment:

<a href="doc.pdf"><a href="doc.txt>The Document</a></a>

Now have the behavior of <a> be defined so as to allowed to nest so 
that if the user agent cannot find or use doc.pdf then it tries 
doc.txt. If this sort of nesting behavior for links was resticted to 
just <a> then it would give a reason for <a> to still exist besides 
historical sentiment.  In any case, the effect of nested elements with 
href attributes is something that does need to be addressed in the 
XHTML2 standard.
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2003 20:31:07 UTC

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