[whatwg] <a href="" ping="">

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Oct 21 17:35:22 PDT 2005

On Fri, 21 Oct 2005, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> > ...
> > I'll leave it in until someone comes up with a better idea, so that we
> > have a placeholder (and so that people who wish to experiment with the
> > idea can do so -- there seems to be at least some interest in it).
> > ...
> But there is already a better idea: redirects. As dolphinling said, 
> redirects will work while ping= doesn't. And the script you provided to 
> get around that not only adds even more complexity, it also won't work 
> for the 10 percent of visitors who don't have JavaScript turned on, 
> while redirects still work in that case too.

The script can be written backwards too, if that is a concern.

> But given the small proportion of authors who would use ping=

I think you underestimate the potential number of sites that would use 
this. This kind of tracking happens a _lot_ and people are always trying 
to find ways of making that experience better. There have already been 
people on this list saying they want something like this just within the 
last few hours.

> I can't imagine that benefit being greater than the usability harm from 
> expecting browsers to include a configuration option that -- if given 
> wording understandable by non-developers, such as your "Disable user 
> tracking" suggestion -- almost always wouldn't even do what it claims to 
> do.

In the case of Firefox, to take one example at random, the pref would be a 
hidden pref made visible by extensions that focus on this kind of thing 
(assuming it is the same as the Referer: header pref). Different browsers 
can handle this in different ways, that's how browsers compete.

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

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