[whatwg] Should ID be required for <DFN>?

Eugene T.S. Wong lists.eugenetswong at gmail.com
Fri Jan 13 14:46:57 PST 2006

On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 14:22:12 -0800, Lachlan Hunt  
<lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au> wrote:

> Eugene T.S. Wong wrote:
>> I read the specification on <DFN>, and I really like it...
>>  Some manuscripts will need to refer to a <DFN> that is on another  
>> page. Will there be a way of doing that?
> <a href="otherpage.html#id-of-dfn">foo bar</a>

That would require making an ID for the element. How would users and  
developers access definitions without an ID?

If a document by another author contains 100 web pages, and <DFN>s contain  
no ID, then there is no way of creating an index of all the <DFN>s. I  
suppose that this is an extreme scenario, but what if the author doesn't  
create 100 web pages, and still decides to not use IDs? How do we link to  
it, if we write our own documents?

Perhaps we should allow for something like: <A  
HREF="mypage#'DHD'>click</A> or <A HREF="mypage#'dial home  

Another problem is that if we use IDs, then we end up replicating  
information. For example:

<P>asdf asdf <DFN ID="dialhomedevice"><ABBR TITLE="Dial Home  
Device">DHD</ABBR></DFN> QWER QER.</P>

We could use shorter IDs, but that doesn't change my point. If we do that,  
then <DFN> begins to loose a lot of its value. The idea is that DFN is  
supposed to be some kind of reference point that we can all point to  
without having to use IDs. If that isn't true, then there isn't really any  
use for it, because it would be no different than <SPAN  

What do you think?

Sincerely, and with thanks,
Eugene T.S. Wong

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