[whatwg] Image maps: should we drop <a coords="">?

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Aug 7 21:40:23 PDT 2007

On Thu, 1 Sep 2005, fantasai wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> > 
> > Yup, it is indeed nice; if image maps had been designed that way from the
> > start it would make sense. But it's not _that_ much nicer than <area>, which
> > we could define as allowing:
> > 
> >   <object data="foo" usemap="#foo">
> >    <map id="foo">
> >     <ul>
> >      <li><area coords="..." href="..."><a href="...">...</a>
> >      ...
> > 
> > ...which isn't much worse, and has the very important benefit of actually
> > working in IE6.
> And the perhaps less important disadvantage that it's impossible for a 
> machine to warn against the lack of alt text. With both <area> and <a> 
> in HTML 4, the spec was able to require 'alt' attributes on <area>, 
> because, given <a coords="..."> to fill the mixed coords and fallback 
> role, <area> was not intended to be used in conjunction with other 
> fallback content. In what you're proposing, <area> also takes the role 
> of <a coords="..."> and therefore takes no 'alt' attribute. The end 
> result is, there's no way to know if the author actually provided alt 
> text or is just throwing <area> into a mix of random block content.

Indeed. Not a huge problem, IMHO.

> Another thing to think about: afaict, the HTML 4 spec doesn't say 
> whether or how the image map coordinate system scales when an image is 
> stretched or shrunk via CSS.

Fixed in HTML5.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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