[whatwg] Only allow <area>s as children of <map>

Simon Pieters zcorpan at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 27 16:26:14 PST 2006


Currently <map> only allows block-level elements, and <area> is considered a 
strictly inline-level content (but only allowed as a descendant of <map>).

HTML4 allowed either block-level elements or <area>s as children of <map>, 
where the idea with block-level elements was to use a paragraph or a list 
with <a> elements that acted as areas.

When authors switch from HTML4 to HTML5 they will find that the conformance 
checker complains about lack of block-level elements in <map> and then they 
will just insert a <div> or a <p> around all areas and complain about the 

Now <a> can't act as areas anymore in HTML5. But why are block-level 
elements required? Is the intent that authors should place their <area>s in 
paragraphs or lists? Why? Isn't it better to only allow <area>s as children 
of <map>s, and then let UAs treat the <area>s as being a list of links when 
used as fallback (as described in [1])?

[1] http://www.hixie.ch/specs/html/usemap-alt

Simon Pieters

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