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Re: Anchor terminology

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 22:39:00 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
At 08:56 PM 1/27/97 -0800, you wrote:
>Since I can't really continue into the specification using the current
>terminology without becoming dizzy and ill, I've stopped and rewritten
>the terminology section using words that make sense to me. 

The good news is that we all seem to agree that we have three operative

(1) the basket that the pointy bits go in
(2) the pointy bits that point at things
(3) the things the pointy bits point at

facetiousness aside, Jon has a point.  At the very least, the current
spec, to be made consistent, should change all occurrences of "anchor role"
to "link-end role".  Jon's proposal seems OK, except for I find the term
"end-spec" horribly unaesthetic. 

How about "link", "pointer", and "target".  Ropes are really a lousy metaphor,
and "end" is really not descriptive of what a pointy bit does.  Also, given
the realities of the web, "pointer" and "target" are quite accurate.

Failing "target", the term "anchor" (in its meaning of "something that's 
being pointed at") doesn't bother me as much as it does Jon.  Note that if 
we decide to use Jon's definition, the word probably no longer needs to 
appear in the spec at all; the spec talks about the link mechanisms, not 
what's being pointed at.

Another interesting point... does an "anchor link" a.k.a. HTML "<A" have
one pointer/link-end/end-spec or two, really?  The spec, in a rather 
disapproving tone, says 1, which conflicts with the definition of "link" 
(look it up) but I'm beginning to think this is gratuitous... if the 
software's gone to the trouble to track the  <A down so he can read it, he 
might as well consider the spot he found it to be a thing-a-pointy-bit-
points-at... but there's no obvious place to give it a ROLE or TITLE or 
whatever.  Hmmm -Tim
Received on Tuesday, 28 January 1997 01:40:19 UTC

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