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[Bug 12223] Drop rel=help. It's for showing a button in the browser's UI which no browser shows by default. It doesn't seem to be helpful for users, so just wastes authors' time.

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 06 May 2011 20:54:52 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1QIS32-0006XQ-7F@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #5 from Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com> 2011-05-06 20:54:51 UTC ---
If rel=help does nothing out of the box, nobody's going to know about it or use
it, and if they do use it they'll misuse it, as with any hidden metadata.  If
it turns the cursor into a help icon, people will say "Hey, cool, rel=help
turns the cursor into a help icon", and while they might not use it for all
their help links, you can be sure they'll *only* use it for help links.  This
improves the value for everyone.

People use features correctly only when their visible effects make it obvious
how to use them.  Authors usually use <ol> only for its intended purpose,
because the visible effect is useless for other purposes.  They do not use <br>
only for its intended purpose, because the visible effect is useful for lots of
purposes.  They don't use rel=help at all because it has no visible effect.

If your only use-case is "could be used for author styling hooks", then class
serves the exact same use-case.  Porting between sites is not an advantage of
rel=help unless you believe that a) lots of sites use <a rel=help> (they
don't), and b) it's reasonably common to copy raw HTML between them (seems
unlikely), and c) you'd actually want to adopt the new site's styles for
rel=help (not necessarily: what if site A just turns it a different color and
depends on the text being visible, while site B replaces the text with an icon
because all its help links' text is "Help"?).

I've definitely seen help cursors used in some places for help links.  I can't
find any right now, though.  Most apps don't have links to separate help pages
these days anyway.

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Received on Friday, 6 May 2011 20:54:53 UTC

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