[whatwg] Web Apps 1.0: On-line help

Ben Meadowcroft ben at benmeadowcroft.com
Sun May 8 02:30:44 PDT 2005

I think the web apps 1.0 specification is lacking a section on on-line
help. This is a topic which I feel the current work could helpfully

There are two types of help that I think are appropriate for web
applications, full page help and element sensitive help.

I'd suggest first that we standardise a method of linking an application
page to it's help page. This could be done by specifying a link relation
type specifically for online help. For example:
<link href="/help-pages/page1.html" rel="help" type="text/html"
title="MyApp Help">

The user agent could then allow users to access the on-line help using the
browser UI, i.e. from the help menu where the application specific help
could be made available or by pressing the F1 key.

My second proposal is to standardise element context help. This will allow
a user to get context sensitive help on a particular area of the web page
when mousing over or clicking parts of the page (depending on how the OS
implements similar features I suppose). This could be enabled by allowing
elements to have a context-help attribute (similar to the context-menu
attribute proposed).

Ben Meadowcroft
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