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

Jasper Bryant-Greene jasper at album.co.nz
Sat Oct 22 00:01:24 PDT 2005

On Fri, 2005-10-21 at 23:50 -0700, S. Mike Dierken wrote:
> > Bearing the above in mind, I've added a section to the <a> 
> > element that describes a ping="" attribute. The URIs given in 
> > this attribute would be followed when the user clicks the 
> > link, thus getting around the problems listed above.
> Since this is effectively capturing where the user's attention is being
> spent (the click event I mean), should you also define the other set of
> events of interest as well?
>  <a href="..." on-click-notify="myattention.org/dierken"
> on-hover-notify="myattention.org/dierken"

I realise this is hypothetical, but on-hover-notify would cause a *lot*
of network traffic. Probably more than most server admins would like.

> on-copy-notify="myattention.org/dierken">Wicked Cool Stuff Here</a>
> What is the request method for these notifications (the wording "the URIs
> would be followed" imply retrieval)?
> If POST, what is the content body?
> If GET, what is the URI (generated from the href via a pattern, or static
> from the downloaded html)?

I would say POST as it is likely to have server-side side effects.

> Should the Referer request header also be sent (except for documents
> retrieved via secure protocols)?

I don't see why it shouldn't be.

> Should the notification event occur before, during or after the retrieval of
> the href="..." resource?
> Should the notification event occur for only succesful retrievals? Or should
> the notification contain the response status of incomplete retrievals of the
> href="..." resource?

It could be useful to send it after the retrieval and send the response
status, but I don't know how realistic that would be for implementors.
Before/during might be more realistic.

> Should the notification URIs be restricted to the same host/domain as a) the
> source document b) the href="..." resource or c) unlimited?

To restrict it to the same host/domain as the source or the link would
pretty much make it useless for advertising networks, which often have
many servers. I would say unlimited, as making it unlimited does not
introduce any problems that don't already exist. (Sure, you can send a
POST to another website, but [even assuming that the other website
doesn't require authentication] you can already do that with the simple
<form> tag.)

Jasper Bryant-Greene
General Manager
Album Limited

e: jasper at album.co.nz
w: http://www.album.co.nz/
p: 0800 4 ALBUM (0800 425 286) or +64 21 232 3303
a: PO Box 579, Christchurch 8015, New Zealand

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