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[whatwg] Simple Links

From: Eduard Pascual <herenvardo@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 00:22:02 +0200
Message-ID: <AANLkTimB7eVioyt4-e_5Hm5o9560mqv0TKFDoc_W9ENL@mail.gmail.com>
On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 11:44 PM, Christoph P?per
<christoph.paeper at crissov.de> wrote:
> If you think about various syntax variants of wiki systems they?ve got one thing in common that makes them preferable to direct HTML input: easy links! (Local ones at least, whatever that means.) The best known example is probably double square brackets as in Mediawiki, the engine that powers the Wikimediaverse. A link to another article on the same wiki is as simple as ?[[Foo]]?, where HTML would have needed ?<a href="Foo">Foo</a>?.
> I wonder whether HTML could and should provide some sort of similar shortening, i.e. ?<a href>Foo</a>? or even, just maybe, ?<a>Foo</a>?. The UA would append the string content, properly encoded, to the base Web address as the hyperlink?s target, thus behave as had it encounters ?<a href="Foo">Foo</a>?.
> I prefer the binary toggle role of the ?href? attribute, although it doesn?t work well in the XML serialisation, because it provides better compatibility with existing content and when I see or write ?<a>Bar</a>? I rather think of the origin of that element name, ?anchor?. So I expect it to be equivalent to ?<a id>Bar</a>? and ?<a name>Bar</a>? which would be shortcuts for ?<a id="Bar">Bar</a>?.
> PS: Square brackets aren?t that simple actually, because on many keyboard layouts they?re not easy to input and might not be found on keytops at all.
> PPS: The serialisation difference is not that important, because XML, unlike HTML, isn?t intended to be written by hand anyway.

Can't this be handled with CSS' generated content? I'm not sure if
I'll be getting the syntax right, but I think something like this:

a[href]:empty { content: attr(href); }
would pull the href from every empty <a> that has such attribute (so
it doesn't mess with anchor-only elements) and render it as the
content of the element. Note that href attributes are resolved
relative to what your <base>s define (this is slightly better than
just "appending", since it makes '../whatever'-style URLs work the
right way), so you don't need to (rather, should not) use absolute
URLs for such links.

It seems that you are only concerned about avoiding duplication of
content for the href and the content of the element. Your proposal
puts the stuff on the content, while the CSS-based solution would put
it on the href; but both put it only once.

Eduard Pascual
Received on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 15:22:02 UTC

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