Proposal for current Link Pseudo-class

CSS 3 Recommendation
Current Link Pseudo-class Selector
by Jason Cranford Teague

Current CSS standards allow for the independent styling of links based  
on the client history using the visited link pseudo-class. This allows  
designers to indicate which links the visitor has been to previously.  
However, visitors need to not only know where they have been, but  
where they are and where they are going as well. Web designers need a  
way to conveniently style a link based on the clients current URI in  
order to create more useful menus and bread-crumb trails as well as  
indicate whether a link is pointing out of the current site.

In order style links based on the users current location within a site  
and to differentiate internal versus external links, I propose the  
addition of a new “current” link pseudo-class. This pseudo-class  
would not only be used to style a link if it's href matched the  
clients current URI, but also style links based on directory level.

The current link pseudo-class selector would have the following pattern:


Matches element E if E is the source anchor of a hyperlink of which  
the target matches the clients current URI if no number (n) is  
included or matches up to the directory level indicated by n. A value  
of n=0 compares only the top level domain.

So, given the links:

1- <a href=””>RED</a>
2- <a href=”http://www.>Style</a>
3- <a href=”http://www.>Prom Styles</a>

and the styles

1- a:current {}
2- a:current(0) {}
3- a:current(1) {}
4- a:current(2) {}

If the client's current URI is:

Link 1 would receive style 2
Link 2 would receive style 3
Link 3 would receive style 1 and 3
Style 4 would NOT be applied

Potential Uses

Site Navigation Menus: Site menus could be consistently styled based  
on the visitor's location within the site giving them visual feedback.

Bread-crumb menus: Levels in a bread-crumb trail can be displayed  
based on the current page URI, eliminating the need to use server-side  
technology, JavaScript, or create separate instance for every page  
within the site.

Internal/External links: Links that point to another domain can be  
styled separately from links that keep the visitor within the domain.  
In addition, once the CSS target attribute is added, this will allow  
designers the ability to always target external links to a new window.

* | 

Received on Friday, 16 November 2007 14:47:38 UTC