[whatwg] Context help in Web Forms

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jun 6 03:07:16 PDT 2005

On Sat, 28 May 2005, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> it would be helpful to have a way of including extra help, which may be 
> provided by a popup dialogue, mouseover, etc.

The HTML4 "title" attribute provides this.

At one point we considered having a second attribute with a URI, help="", 
similar to the XForms equivalent, for more detailed context-sensitive 
help. However, we got feedback from implementors and Web designers saying 
it wouldn't be that useful since it was not discoverable, and so it was 

In HTML5 it is likely that a rel="" value for the <a> element will be 
introduced which could be used to provide context-sensitive help while 
still having discoverability for the common case: the link would be 
visible in the markup, and the UA would be able to determine the closest 
matching such link (according to a given algorithm) when looking for help.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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