[whatwg] Simple Links

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.

Received on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:44:41 UTC