Re: Proposal: restricting <LINK> to hyperlinks

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 95 17:15:14 EDT

Roy T. Fielding <> writes:
>Bert Bos <> writes:
>>This is a suggestion for a change of terminology in HTML and for a
>>slightly different interpretation of the LINK element. In short: the
>>term `hyperlink' should be used more in accordance with existing
>>hyperlink literature and the LINK element should consistently result
>>in a button in a toolbar, independently of any REL attributes.
>I don't think so.  Link is intended to define abstract *and* concrete
>relationships between resources on the Web.  Link is independent of
>HTML and does not in general define a button on a toolbar.  Instead,
>a toolbar widget seeks out links associated with the relations
>that are represented within the toolbar (i.e., the button is already
>defined, it just takes its reference value from a link href).
> ....Roy T. Fielding  Department of ICS, University of California, Irvine USA
>                      Visiting Scholar, MIT/LCS + World-Wide Web Consortium
>                      (                (


Wasn't the idea of a WG to work out these concepts? It is precisely the
current ambiguity surrounding META and LINK I believe Bert is trying to
resolve. In the current draft I see neither definition of what would be
considered abstract nor concrete, nor any fundamental underscoring of an
unwritten "author intention". Intention of the author is really irrelevant
to the final product if it is not stated explicitly in the DTD and
accompanying documentation.

Maybe "Link" has another definition I'm not aware of, but "LINK" _is_ in
the HTML DTD. Am I looking into your language incorrectly? I don't know how
it could be considered independent of HTML. That it doesn't widely define a
button on a toolbar is only a function of current UA implementation,
possibly due to the current shaky draft status of the LINK definition.
Given a strongly stated definition of purpose, it seems that LINK would be
the most logical place to implement this type of feature. What other
language feature would BETTER support a set of toolbar links to external
documents? You yourself mention the button "taking its reference value from
a link href". This has me thoroughly confused.

Having an element that is so broad of scope as to cover both "abstract" and
"concrete" links (whatever the definition) seems to leave LINK without an
explicit purpose and META without a need (which I believe you've mentioned
before, again based on initial intention). Given that "the rest of us"
cannot guess at original intention, I would certainly side with Bert's view
on more strictly defining and delineating usage of LINK and META, as a
message I am currently drafting will show.


      Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
      National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia