[whatwg] Absent rev?

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Wed Nov 19 09:26:17 PST 2008

On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Martin McEvoy <martin at weborganics.co.uk>wrote:

> Here is my take on the subject.
> There are 1517 instances of @rev
> of those:
> "made" occurs 83% of the time (1259 instances)
> "stylesheet" occurs 8.2% of the time (124 instances)
> The rest occur 8.9% of the time (135 instances)
> the misuse of "stylesheet" is trivial and only a matter of informing
> authors of their error, the fact that a high amount of authors are using
> rev-made is Inspiring to say the least, because every made link type is a
> claim of ownership, not authorship two totally different semantics.
> I will study the results of @rel soon but from first glance It seems there
> is (statistically) more abuse and misunderstanding about @rel than there
> will ever be than @rev

Well, at the bottom of this email[1] is the previous list with all the @rel
removed.  This way everyone can easily see the numbers without having to
process the file themselves.

As previously noted, there are 1266 instances of rev="made" (y'all missed a
few).  (Note also that one of them is rev="made, publisher",  which is
impossible together short of AI.)  There are 124 rev="stylesheet".  There
are 4 rev="shortcut icon", plus a few more obvious typos like
rev="copyright", rev="nofollow", and rev="text/css" (1 of each, so 3 total).

The next group is somewhat subjectively wrong, so your own calculations may
lead to some slightly different numbers.  As well, it's possible I'm a few
off in a category, so my numbers may not match up *exactly*.

A few of these are mistakes where the author took the attribute as being
short for "revision".  There are 3 of these.

There are several being used merely to hold arbitrary data for scripting.
There are 7 of these.

There are many which are for whatever reason holding arbitrary non-scripting
data, which can't be construed as anything but a confusion.  I count 36 of

Another large category are those which are *probably* intended to be @rel,
but the author was confused about how @rel/@rev related and used it
incorrectly.  I count 29 of these.

We also have several which fall into the same category as rev="made", where
they are trivially redundant with an obvious @rel.  (I define "trivial" here
as "can be turned into a @rel just by changing the conjugation of the
word".)  I count 26 of these.  To be specific, the values I'm talking about
here are "owns", "owner", "author", "designed", and "powered".  It's also
possible that some of these actually fall into the previous category.

Finally we come to the ones that I can't otherwise categorize.  I'll just go
ahead and list them directly:
      3 <a rev="vote-for" ...>
      2 <a rev="testfield" ...>
      2 <a rev="footnote" ...>
      1 <link rev="Subdocument" ...>
      1 <link rev="self" ...>
      1 <link rev="replyto" ...>
      1 <link rev="reply-to" ...>
      1 <link rev="child" ...>
      1 <a rev="vote-against" ...>
      1 <a rev="vote-abstain" ...>
      1 <a rev="review" ...>

Some of these may fall into a previous category, but it's possible that they
are being used correctly.  Many of these also have a fairly trivial @rel
that would express the same relationship as well.

So, let's discuss the numbers.  There about 1517 instances of @rev (my
numbers add up to 1513, but as I said, there may be some mistakes in my
numbers).  1292 of them are trivially reversible into an @rel.  160 of them
*are* @rel values, but the author either typoed or misunderstood the
@rel/@rev distinction.  46 of them are simply wrong, and don't have anything
to do with the actual uses of @rel/@rev.  15 are possibly correct uses of
@rev which aren't *trivially* reversible (that is, they actually require
some thinking about the relationship to name the opposite relation for use
in @rel).

That makes 85% of the uses trivially reversible, 14% of the uses mistakes,
and 1% of the uses valid and non-trivial to reverse into an @rel relation.
@rev-using links are only 1.2% of the total body of links which use @rel or

[1]: http://www.xanthir.com/rev_using_links20081119.txt

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