[whatwg] Image maps: should we drop <a coords="">?

fantasai fantasai.lists at inkedblade.net
Thu Sep 1 17:01:02 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> Yup, it is indeed nice; if image maps had been designed that way from the 
> start it would make sense. But it's not _that_ much nicer than <area>, 
> which we could define as allowing:
>   <object data="foo" usemap="#foo">
>    <map id="foo">
>     <ul>
>      <li><area coords="..." href="..."><a href="...">...</a>
>      ...
> ...which isn't much worse, and has the very important benefit of actually 
> working in IE6.

And the perhaps less important disadvantage that it's impossible for a
machine to warn against the lack of alt text. With both <area> and <a>
in HTML 4, the spec was able to require 'alt' attributes on <area>,
because, given <a coords="..."> to fill the mixed coords and fallback
role, <area> was not intended to be used in conjunction with other
fallback content. In what you're proposing, <area> also takes the role
of <a coords="..."> and therefore takes no 'alt' attribute. The end
result is, there's no way to know if the author actually provided alt
text or is just throwing <area> into a mix of random block content.

*shrug* Just something to think about.

Another thing to think about: afaict, the HTML 4 spec doesn't say
whether or how the image map coordinate system scales when an image
is stretched or shrunk via CSS.


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