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[whatwg] WA1: rev attribute

From: Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2005 18:14:52 -0400
Message-ID: <42E2C15C.6020202@earthlink.net>
fantasai wrote:
> Matthew Raymond wrote:
>> fantasai wrote:
>>>Most common link types
>>>out there are used with 'rel', but some 'rev' values can also be
>>>useful. Here are some use cases:
>>>  - rev="footnote" for a link back from the footnote or endnote to
>>>    the source anchor in the main text
[Snip!]
>>
>>   This is largely useless, as you are unlikely to start at a
>>help/footnote document and go to the document for which the help
>>document was written. The most common situation is that you clicked the
>>help/footnote like from the parent document, and therefore the
>>relationship is already established from the parent document.
> 
> Or maybe I just scrolled to the bottom after reading the whole text
> straight through and want to jump to the context of the footnote
> I'm now reading. (The footnote and its context could be in the same
> document, too, y'know.)

   You already have a link back to the referenced text. Why is it useful
to know that the link is within a footnote? Heck, why not just allow
relation types on elements? Isn't XHTML 2.0 doing something like that
with |role|?

   The point you're missing is that knowing the reverse relationship
often gives you useless information. I have eyes. I know I'm reading a
footnote. If that's the only useful relationship in that scenario,
better to just leave the attribute off.

   Imagine you're walking down the street and meet a little girl. From a
distance, a man is walking towards the two of you. If I tell you that
the reverse relationship between the man and the girl is "daughter",
it's really only useful in telling me that the man is her father. The
only additional information "daughter" conveys is that she's a girl,
which I already knew.

>>>  - rev="author" on a personal site or resume for links to documents
>>>    s/he has written
>>
>>   Here, you're using |rev| to replace missing metadata in the target
>>document. What happens when <meta name="Author"> is defined in the
>>target documents? Does |rev| override? What would a UA do with the
>>information anyway? If there's a link, wouldn't there be text stating
>>that the creator of the personal site created the document the link is to?
> 
> I think you're missing the point here. 'rev' doesn't say anything more
> about the linked document than 'rel' does.

   As I stated in another part of this thread (Is it a thread if it's
tree-like?), |rev| is actually all about what the current document is
relative to the linked document. Therefore, it naturally describes the
current document and not the one you're linking to. Not only is that
self-serving (giving you the opportunity to describe your document in
reference to someone else's), but it tends to minimalize the information
given about the linked document. If tell you a reverse relationship is
"Master", does that mean that the link is to a slave, or a pet, or an
apprentice, or even an employee? Heck, the forward relationship could be
"Doctor" for all we know.

> It's just a way of expressing
> inverse relationships without having to pull out thesauri and latin
> prefixes and excessive hyphens.

   In the end, you're still not really saying anything about the link.
If something is "refutation", does that mean it's controversial or
inaccurate? Is the refuted material an article or a paper or a book?
Perhaps it may even be a video.

>>   At least with |rel|, you could harvest hyperlinks and put them into a
>>link toolbar. With |rev|, you're describing the relationship type of the
>>current document. Therefore, I really don't see what user agents are
>>supposed to do with |rev| and how they can create a useful interface
>>that can exploit this attribute.
> 
> The user agent doesn't need to do anything to make the markup useful:
> if you look at XFN, for example, UAs didn't support any of it, but
> authors still used the markup as hooks to for styling.

   In some UAs, authors can use fictional attributes for styling:

| <div tigerlilly="blue">Example</div>

   This, however, doesn't mean we should put the |tigerlilly| attribute
into HTML5.

>>Counterexample:
>>| <meta name="refuting" content="
>>|  Intelligent Design;
>>|  http://hemadeyou.org
>>| ">
> 
> I don't think I need to say anything about how ridiculous a counter-
> suggestion that is.

   Aside from how ridiculous the fictional URL is, I think you do,
because I don't understand your position.
Received on Saturday, 23 July 2005 15:14:52 UTC

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