[whatwg] Making it possible to do an anchor link to any DOM node

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Jun 18 13:22:45 PDT 2008

On Wed, 18 Jun 2008, Lukas Kahwe Smith wrote:
> So I think it should be possible to "dynamically" get an implicit anchor 
> on essentially anything. This would be specific DOM id's or any css 
> selector or xpath expression. Browsers could be extended to not only 
> feature a "copy link" context menu, but also "copy link to element", 
> which would do all the nitty gritty work of pointing to the element on 
> which the context menu was invoked.
> I searched this list to determine if something like this was suggested 
> before, the only relevant post [1] I found does not seem to actually 
> discuss the same at closer inspection. I just joined this list and I 
> have not done a super indepth study on the web about this. So I hope I 
> am not boring you all with an old idea.

This was discussed recently in the public-html list, I believe. My 
conclusion was that the better way to approach this would be to take the 
XPointer work [1] and extend it to cover HTML DOMs as well as XML. With 
such a language specified, one could then add references to such languages 
to the relevant MIME type RFCs (fragment identifier behaviour has 
historically been defined by MIME type RFCs, not by the language specs 

My recommendation therefore would be to approach the XML Core Working 
Group at the W3C and see if there is any interest in developing XPointer 

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

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