[whatwg] Image maps: should we drop <a coords="">?

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 14 07:49:29 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>Ian Hickson wrote:
>>>Anyone want us to keep <a coords="">?
>>The reason I especially liked it was:
>> <object data="foo" usemap="#foo">
>>  <map id="foo">
>>   <ul>
>>    <li><a coords="...">...</a>
>>    ...
> Yup, it is indeed nice; if image maps had been designed that way from the 
> start it would make sense. But it's not _that_ much nicer than <area>, 
> which we could define as allowing:
>   <object data="foo" usemap="#foo">
>    <map id="foo">
>     <ul>
>      <li><area coords="..." href="..."><a href="...">...</a>
>      ...
> ...which isn't much worse, and has the very important benefit of actually 
> working in IE6.

    This would seem to undermine your position with regards to using the 
<a> element for menu labels:

| <menubar id="appmenu">
|   <a href="#file">File</a>
|   <menu>

    Contrast this with the following:

| <menubar id="appmenu">
|   <menulabel><a href="#file">File</a></menulabel>
|   <menu>

    It's essentially the same scenario. In both situations, <a> is being 
used in a situation where alternative, more semantically appropriate 
markup already exists for the purposes of fallback. However, as 
illustrated in both your example and mine, <a> could simply be used 
within the same alternative markup to create fallback without 
overloading the semantics of <a>.

    So, with implementations of <a coords=""> existing and gaining 
marketshare, why is <a coords=""> being phased out while <a 
href="#[menu]"> for use _within_ menus is being phased in?

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