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Re: Image Maps: A Presentational Structure

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 09:20:44 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200402290920.i1T9Kw900486@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

>    I've just been thinking about image maps in XHTML.  The whole concept 
> of an image map is that hyperlinks are mapped to hot spots on an image. 

Areas, not spots.

>   This seems rather presentational to me.  @shape is an attribute that 
> specifies the presentational shape of a hot spot, given by @coords.

Whilst this may be common usage and is presentational, image maps have
a legitimate use which represents real content, and was probably the
original reason for having them.  An image map can be a real map with
regions for sales territories, that might otherwise be very difficult
to describe in words.  It can be used to help people identify parts
of an assembly, without knowing their technical names.  Etc.

Actually, whilst general image maps were once used presentationally
for text as images and icon hyperlinks, the tendency now is to
create a mosaic of single images with a presentational abuse of tables.
The one remaining use of them presentationally is the degenerate case
of image buttons (the whole button is a valid target); they offer no
advantage over button elements in HTML 4, and button elements were broken
in early IE, and do not degrade gracefully.

Unless the fashion element dominates thinking, I don't think presentational
HTML users will move to HTML 2; they are more likely to move to SVG,
and even more likely to move to an enhanced version of Flash.
Received on Sunday, 29 February 2004 09:40:01 UTC

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