[whatwg] proposal - link relations: rel="prefetch" to be exchanged for a boolean attribute

Ben Schwarz ben.schwarz at gmail.com
Sun Jul 4 19:41:14 PDT 2010

Hi All,

I'm sure link relations have already had many debates around how they should
work and the exact use case that they cover.
I'd like to add another card to the deck :-)

When using link relations on an "a" tag, one would find it useful to have
"next" and "previous" link relations, this is especially highlighted for
documentation, online books—publication, in general.

I'd find it useful if I could ask the user agent to prefetch the "next" page
as its more than likely that the user will be lead to this page soon after
the current browsing context. Having a linkrel of "next" is useful for

However, as far as my understanding goes, linkrels should not contain
multiple values; eg:

<a rel="prefetch next">Next page</a>

I put it forward that prefetch should be moved to become a boolean
attribute, so that it can be used as follows:

<a rel="next" prefetch>Next page</a>

This would allow content producers to improve the user experience for their
users while also maintaining clean, cohesive stylesheets and markup.

(most of) The other link relations describe the content behind a link, and
how one might style or what a browser may do to change the user experience,
this is useful. Prefetch however only aids the browser, not describing the
content whatsoever.

I've floated this idea to the attendees of my HTML5/CSS3 workshop. The
result thus far has been unanimous.



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