[whatwg] <comment> element

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 11 15:20:21 PDT 2011

Þann fös  9.sep 2011 19:27, skrifaði Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis:
> On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Bjartur Thorlacius<svartman95 at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Why use<a>  when you have onclick and a settable document.location? :)
> I think there are sound reasons to provide user agent conformance
> requirements for a at href and to allow it as conforming markup that go
> well beyond semantics for semantics sake, including:
> 1. Links are the essence of the web, so if you're going to express
> *any* semantic in a web markup language, you should express links.
True dat.

> 2. a at href is very common in the web corpus, therefore user agents must
> implement a at href to provide access to the existing web corpus.
True for anchors, but irrelevant in a discussion about the introduction 
of a new element (or more correctly; new semantics for an element).

> 3. Making a at href non-conforming would _not_ help authors make their
> pages more interoperable.
> 4. We do not want to make navigating the web dependent on executing
> third-party script, since some user agents do not implement scripting
> and some users may disable script for usability or security reasons.
Nor should we depend on site stylesheets for rendering documents 
> 5. a at href is a significantly easier to author than any form of scripted link.
This probably being the original reason (simplicity, that is, not being 
easily typeable by authors).

> 6. a at href has built-in accessibility (e.g. keyboard activation, lists
> of links in screenreaders, etc.).
Yes, although I believe lists of links to be generally useful, even in 
pixmap renderings (as a suggestion list for navigation).

> 7. Semantic markup is deterministic in a way that arbitrary script is
> not. Being able to infer relationships between documents without
> executing script makes it much easier for automated agents to make use
> of those relationships. For example, Google PageRank delivers
> extremely good search results by analysing links expressed through
> this simple semantic markup.
This. May I reemphasize again. However genius, Tim Berners-Lee did most 
likely not foresee the use case of building a database of links between 
documents. Simply butting the information out there, seemingly when 
essaying to make documents output medium independent, made creative 
analysis of a enormous amount of existing and future to be machine 
interpret. Machine readability is a great reason for semantics, even if 
seemingly for semantics sake.

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