[whatwg] href on any element

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sun Aug 27 23:57:26 PDT 2006

On Sat, 26 Aug 2006, Keryx webb wrote:
> Shut me up and give me a link if this has been discussed before, but I 
> can't find it on Google. Has there been any discussion of allowing the 
> href-attribute in (almost) any element, as in XHTML 2.0?

It's been mentioned, mostly in passing.

The biggest problem with this feature is that some UA vendors have 
indicated that they are strongly opposed to overloading every element as 
being a link.

It isn't always clear what it would mean, either (consider <col href="">, 
or <optgroup href="">).

Generally, overloading a single element to do multiple tasks leads to 
bugs. Consider, for instance, <object>, which has been overloaded to do a 
wide variety of different things (plugins, images, subdocuments, etc). It 
is one of the most poorly implemented parts of HTML4.

> Personally I think this is the one killer feature of XHTML 2 and I would 
> soo much like it ASAP in all browsers.
> Turning
> <a href="http://www.whatwg.org/"><abbr title="Web Hypertext Application
> Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr></a>
> into
> <abbr href="http://www.whatwg.org/" title="Web Hypertext Application
> Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr>
> makes perfect sense to me.

It's arguably a very minor improvement, but probably not worth the huge 
specification and implementation cost. Certainly there are bigger "bang 
for the buck" improvements that can be made.

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

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