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

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 13 00:22:11 PDT 2006

Charles Iliya Krempeaux wrote:
> On 7/11/06, Matthew Raymond <mattraymond at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> How about the element that has the ID that's in the URL in the |href|
>> attribute? That would take you directly to the element in question. I
>> think |xml:id| is pretty much a standard now.
> Yeah, that would definitely be better from a developer's point-of-view. 
> And there are times when you do do that.
> But sometimes, you can't do that.
> Perhaps the HTML fragment that you want has no "id" on it.  (And you
> have no control of the page [and] you can't add it.)

   How are you going to add the |class| attributes they leave out? By
contrast, authoring software can be designed to automatically insert
|id| attributes with auto-generated values if an |id| is not provided.
Heck, part of the auto-generated value could be the element's |class|
attribute value.

> Or, even if it does have it, perhaps linking to that fragment makes for
> poor usuability.  And in terms of usability it's better to link to the
> page (without the fragment identifier -- without the "id".)  ( I.e.,
> jumping to that part of the page would be "bad" from the usability
> point-of-view.... Or maybe doing so skips the ads on the page, and would
> mess up the business relation you have with that publishers.)

   So? You can do that now.

> What I'm saying is that [people] would choose their "rel", "rev", and
> "class" names ahead of time.  And everyone would agree on them.
> And you'd have a (defacto) standard created.  (A Microformat possibly.)

   Microformats don't really justify linking to a collection of elements
via the |class| attribute.

> Creating the standard is a somewhat arbitrury process.  And requires
> humans to do it.
> Although with opaque semantics, like the "rel" name matching the "class"
> name, you don't need a human intervention to parse much of it.
> Does what I'm saying make sense?  Or should I explain it more?

   It doesn't make sense. Just because you have a link pointing to a
class name doesn't mean that a user agent can figure out what the class
name means.

[Snipped the rest!]

   For the rest of your message, you seem to be talking about the
general advantage of using the |class| attribute and microformats. I
don't disagree that they have advantages, but I don't see how adding a
special attribute containing class names from the target document
actually helps anything, semantically or otherwise. If the idea is to
add semantics, remember that the user agent still doesn't necessarily
know what the class name is supposed to mean unless it's already part of
an established microformat.

   If you're just trying to link to a collection of elements, it
actually makes more sense to use an attribute that takes an XPath
expression as a value.

More information about the whatwg mailing list