[whatwg] Inconsistent behavior for empty-string URLs

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 13:52:41 PST 2009

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 3:05 PM, Nicholas Zakas <nzakas at yahoo-inc.com> wrote:
> The reason I think this is important is because the "just fetch the
> resource again" behavior is inherently destructive and unexpected. When
> one of these appears on a page, page views double. This isn't a problem
> if it's your personal blog, but for high-volume web sites such as
> Yahoo!, Google, and Facebook, a 100% increase in traffic causes a lot of
> problems. From conversations with engineers at other companies, it seems
> that we've all fallen victim to this behavior at one time or another.

Interesting point.  I've never had this happen to me myself, but I can
see how it might occur as a bug.  If this is the use-case, then the
spec can probably leave out src="#foo" and similar things that would
have an identical effect, because those would be much less likely to
happen as the result of a bug.

> I think one would argue that <img src=""> is unlikely markup as well,
> yet the spec currently provides guidance around this case. Wouldn't it
> make sense to be consistent across tags that act in a similar fashion?

I don't know why <img src=""> has a special exception.  It would be
possible to look through the svn log to see if there was a helpful
commit message, or maybe someone will remember.

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