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Re: Missing Functionality: Include

From: Elliot Jenner <void2258@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 19:37:58 -0400
Message-ID: <4A076556.5030203@gmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Virtually the sole purpose of the link element is to include CSS. Since 
it is almost never used for anything else, I consider it part of CSS for 
all intents and purposes.

As to frames and the object usage, these have a tendency to fail at best 
and be outright mishandled by servers at worst. I realize that these 
exist, and have used them, but I have been frustrated by the spotty 
functionality and the difficulty of implementation.

Additionally, these methods make it very difficult for beginners to 
perform basic tasks, discouraging them from creating pages, and are not 
handled very well by HTML preview systems (example:Quanta), an 
additional deterrent to beginners and annoyance to experienced users 
checking for errors.

What I am suggesting for a future version (and hopefully a backport) is 
a simple tag command, say <include href="file" /> that takes the 
contents of the file in question and places it into the position it 
occupies, similar to what a <link href="file" type="text/css" /> does 
now for CSS, but without any type of formatting. In other words the 
parser reaches it, jumps to the other file, reads the HTML as it, then 
jumps back when the file ends and continues. This could also be used to 
import scripts that are duplicated as well. The type requirement is not 
as practical in this instance and could be omitted entirely if it is 
problematic; users advanced enough to be inserting scripts should be 
able to put enough in the include files to make it work on just a raw 
copy anyway.

By integrating it into the main standard, (provided that it is 
emphasized so the browsers support it) you no longer have to worry about 
spotty implementation or support on the server side, and it does not 
require a large additional learning curve from casual users or 
beginners. There should be no need to worry about scripting or server 
processing for a basic task like this.
Received on Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:39:13 GMT

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