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[XHTML2] Linktype 'redirect' and an idea for a finer grained version of it

From: Ernest Cline <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 18:21:01 -0500
Message-ID: <410-220031121123211750@mindspring.com>
To: "W3C HTML List" <www-html@w3.org>

The following issue exists in WD 5::
http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-xhtml2-20030506/abstraction.html#s_abstraction_
issue_2
Linktype 'redirect'
Linktype 'redirect' to handle the one missing piece of functionality that
http-equiv used to supply.

The problem with redirection is that as http-equiv handles it,
it tends to be all or nothing. But what about the case where
you've broken up a large document into several smaller chunks?
As things stand now, you can't handle redirection to the
right chunk if you want for example:
doc.html#chapter1  -> chapter1.html
doc.html#chapter2  -> chapter2.html
doc.html#chapter3  -> chapter3.html
etc. 

The best one can do right now is provide a
table of contents with a bunch of appropriately
marked up anchors to provide for a manual linkage.
<li><a id="chapter1" rel="Chapter" href="chapter1.html">Chapter 1</a></li>
<li><a id="chapter2" rel="Chapter" href="chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
<li><a id="chapter3" rel="Chapter" href="chapter3.html">Chapter 3</a></li>

However, why not specify that the following
should do the redirection automatically?

<link id="chapter1" rel="Chapter" href="chapter1.html" />
<link id="chapter2" rel="Chapter" href="chapter2.html" />
<link id="chapter3" rel="Chapter" href="chapter3.html" />

i.e., if a link element has an id, then a URL
for that document that ends in a # part that
matches that id be redirected to the
corresponding href.

I see two potential issues.

1) Are there any user agents that already do
this with a link element with an id attribute
for existing (X)HTML documents?
If so, that would provide a good reason to sanction
and standardize this behavior.

2) Are there any user agents or documents
for which doing this would cause existing
(X)HTML documents to break if this behavior
were back-propagated by user agents to
pre-XHTML2 documents?
After all, that would certainly happen,
since such behavior isn't prohibited
by the specs.  If so, this will probably require
a special link type for this behavior such as
'Xref' so that instead of:

<link id="chapter1" rel="Chapter" href="chapter1.html" />

one would use:

<link id="chapter1" rel="Chapter Xref" href="chapter1.html" />

Ernest Cline
ernestcline@mindspring.com
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2003 18:21:01 UTC

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