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

Tyler Close tyler.close at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 14:49:51 PST 2006

Hi Jim,

On 1/19/06, Jim Ley <jim.ley at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/19/06, Tyler Close <tyler.close at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I think it would be fair to characterize current techniques for link
> > click tracking as "opaque". In contrast, the proposed "ping" attribute
> > explicitly declares in the HTML what is intended and how it will
> > happen. Perhaps the right way to explain the "ping" attribute is as
> > providing transparent, or explicit, feedback; shining a light on the
> > dark corners of click tracking. If it is explained that the feature
> > will make link click tracking explicit, controllable and more usable,
> > I think the user base will react more positively.
> No, they'll just disable it, as it does them directly no benefit and
> has a cost, so if you educate them enough to make a decision, they
> will not decide to be tracked.

Why hasn't this happened to the HTTP Referer header?

> Since the main use of tracking has a direct economic cost to many
> parties the sites will then return to using the established successful
> methods for tracking, no-one will gain and browsers would've wasted
> lots of time that could've been spent on more productive features.

I think an economic analysis of the scenario is a valid approach.
Could you spell out your argument in more detail? For example, after
I've submitted a search request to Google, what is the economic cost
to me of letting Google know which result I selected? What is the
economic benefit to me of providing this information to Google?

I can see an argument that there is a net benefit to me to provide
this information. I don't see a clear argument that there is a net
cost to me. At the start of the exchange, the thing of value that I
have are my search terms. Once I've given those up, Google already has
most of what it needs to effectively advertise to me. Allowing Google
to know which result was most relevant to me might mean I get more
value in the future for revealing my search terms, in terms of better
query results.

I'm interested to hear your economic analysis.


The web-calculus is the union of REST and capability-based security:

Name your trusted sites to distinguish them from phishing sites.

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