[whatwg] Issues concerning the <base> element and xml:base

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jan 15 16:54:24 PST 2009

On Thu, 15 Jan 2009, Jonas Sicking wrote:
> > On Thu, 17 Jul 2008, Jonas Sicking wrote:
> > > Assuming there is something sane we can all agree on. So far that is not
> > > the case. On both points :)
> > 
> > I think the current text in the spec is pretty reasonable at this point. The
> > main text is here:
> > 
> >    http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#dynamic-changes-to-base-urls
> > 
> > ...and other parts of the spec ensure that the "Otherwise" clause in that
> > section is true (e.g. by carefully defining when a URL is resolved and then
> > not resolving it again in the algorithms).
> Out of curiosity, why make exceptions for hyperlinks here and the cite 
> attribute here? As opposed to for example images and iframes?

Because the "don't do anything special" behavior (not caching the absolute 
URL or anything like that) leads to the following scenario:

   user hovers over link
   UA resolves URL for display
   script changes the base URL
   user clicks link
   UA resolves URL differently for navigation

...leading to the UI not matching what the UA actually does unless the UI 
is updated when the base URL changes. It's only a "should" though, because 
well, if you want your UI to be out of date, it's not critical.

I can make it a "may" if you think "should" is too strong.

> > I haven't yet covered style="" attributes. The problem with CSS is 
> > that there is no clear point at which URLs are resolved... can we say 
> > it happens during parsing, so that the absolute URLs computed for the 
> > first cascade are set once and for all?
> That would work I think.

Right-o. Done.

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

More information about the whatwg mailing list