[whatwg] Where did the "rev" attribute go?

Charles Iliya Krempeaux supercanadian at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 12:22:20 PDT 2006

Hello Matthew,

On 7/11/06, Matthew Raymond <mattraymond at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Charles Iliya Krempeaux wrote:
> > Hello Matthew,
> >
> > That clears things up a bit.
> >
> > But, if the intent is to really get rid of confusion then....  There's
> > actually 2 things I noticed confuse people.
> >
> > #1: That the label you pick for the "rel" (or "rev") needs to be a
> > noun.  (I do understand why... at least I think I do... so that you can
> > use the same label in the "class" attribute.  But it makes things
> > difficult for some people.)
>    I don't know what you mean about |class|, since it seems redundant.
> Furthermore, |rel| has predefined semantic value in HTML 4.01, whereas
> |class| has user-defined and/or proprietary semantic value at best.
>    However, you are correct that it needs to be a noun, because it's the
> _name_ of a relationship.

Perhaps I can illustrate what I mean with an example.

(But first note that people can make up their own values for "rel" and
"rev".  But anyways, here's the example.)

Let's say in a page, I have the following HTML code...

<li class="xoxo shows">
    <li><a rel="show" href="http://show.example.com/">Example IPTV
    <li><a rel="show" href="http://show2.example.com/">Another Example IPTV

The semantics here are....  The class-xoxo (on the <li>) says that I'm
giving a list here.  And the class-shows says this thing is/has "shows".
(So basically, I'm listing shows.)

The rel-show inside the "list of shows", says what's at the end of the
"href" is a "show" for the list of "shows".

So,... if you go to the URL in the "href", you get a whole HTML page with
all sort of stuff in there.  But what is the "show"?  The whole page?  Just
part of it?

Well, I then search the page for class-show.  (I look for something inside
the page with a class with the same token/name use in the "rel" that linked

If I find (just) one, then great, that's probably what I want to concentrate
on.  (The other parts of the page are probably irrelevent.)  If not, I'll
probably have to concentrate on the whole page.

(This is the idea of opaque semantics that I was talking about before.)

Does that clear it up?

(This is what I imagined the developers of these things originally thought

> #2: That "rel" (and "rev") represent a relation between the two.  Often
> > people seem to want to "classify" what's at the end of the "href".
> > (Instead of specifying a relation.)  Perhaps a new attribute is needed.
> > Perhaps "hrefclass".
>    I would think something like "linktype" would be more appropriate.
> That said, |rel| is pretty much already corrupted to mean that, and if
> we introduced another attribute for the purpose of link types, it would
> either go unused for backwards compatibility reasons or it would
> supplant both |rel| and |rev|.
I suggested "hrefclass" because we already have things like... "lang" and
"hreflang".  It just seemed to follow the same style.  (Since this seems to
be just like the "class" attribute, expect we are applying it to what is at
the end of the "href"... so "hrefclass".)

See ya

    Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.

    charles @ reptile.ca
    supercanadian @ gmail.com

    developer weblog: http://ChangeLog.ca/
Make Television                                http://maketelevision.com/
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