[whatwg] A thought: <a href="..." method="post">

Mark Wubben markwubben at gmail.com
Sat May 14 11:02:30 PDT 2005

On 5/13/05, James Graham <jg307 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> Despite this, people have the desire to make links a special class of UI
> object that correspond to idempotent actions only. From a purely
> mechanical point of view, this makes sense - after all one doesn't want
> bots to follow links. From the point of view of that part of the web
> that consists of interlinked documents it mostly makes sense. But from
> the point of view of web applications, it doesn't make sense. It makes
> no sense to require a webmail application to use a form element to open
> each message just because doing so modifies the underlying database,
> despite the fact that a link is an appropriate element to represent the
> action.
> Fortunately for the UI designers, there is an acceptable alternative to
> a link. It's <span> with  javascript to provide the  behavior. Even if
> there was a way to ensure that links were _never_ used for
> non-idempotent actions, you'd still see link-like elements used for such
> actions. Unfortunately they'd have none  of the semantic value  offered
> by <a> elements.

And this, I think, is the gist of the argument here. I agree with
James here, but what about you?

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