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Re: Image Maps: A Presentational Structure

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 17:05:52 +0200 (EET)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0402291656410.12505@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Sun, 29 Feb 2004, David Woolley wrote:

> 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.

Very good points. I couldn't put it better.

The question arises, however, whether the structure is too complex and
specifialized to be described in HTML. Doing such things with real maps,
or any really two-dimension material, gets rather awkward in HTML,
and it's necessary to use authoring tools that generates the area
elements, in most non-trivial applications. And yet we see very coarsely
outlined areas. Specifying the actual structure of an image (division into
areas) outside HTML, just referring to it, would correspond to how we deal
with images themselves.

But there's one good reason to keep image maps in HTML: they are existing
technology that authors can use and are familiar with. I suppose
continuity is to be broken in XHTML 2.0 - XHTML 2.0 documents are not
expected to be rendered at all, or at all decently, on old browsers
(including all current browsers). And new browsers would show legacy
HTML as a separate mode of operation. But this should not
imply breaking the authoring tradition, skills, and habits unnecessarily.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Sunday, 29 February 2004 10:05:55 UTC

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