Re: REL and REV attributes (Was: More comments on HTML 3.0)

Dirk Herr-Hoyman (
Thu, 27 Apr 95 13:26:26 EDT

At 4:24 PM 4/27/95, Craig Hubley wrote:
>>Well-defined semantics for at least some values of
>> REL would begin to make it useful, and then it just might be taken
>> seriously by document authors.
>I disagree. Standard semantics only get in the way. The strength of
>the REL mechanism is the ability to build a completely custom set of
>link types that match the structure of the document... I agree that
>this makes automatic processing harder (although far from impossible)
>but at some point you have to decide if you are writing for computers
>(and require a small standardized list of well-defined types) or for humans
>(and thus require an infinitely-extensible list of linguistically-defined
>types). I think those who view the REL as a convenience for automatic
>processing of documents, something that should be seen only by the software,
>are missing the point, and have misunderstood the semantics of hypertext.

Ok, so let me get back to my suggestion earlier this week that we need a
way to represent a "backup" command in HTML. The current state of affairs
is that many authors put "go back to ..." links in. But, the intent is
often to go back to where you just came from. This interfers with the
browser's history mechanism, which is another "backup" command.

Several commented that the REV attribute could be used for this purpose.
But, the only works if we have an agreed upon semantics. And there are
likely other examples, such as TOC, Index, Glossary. A few standard values
would go a long way to promoting such use.

There does seem to be a place for standard semantics here. And a place for
author defined relationships. Is the REV attribute the right place for
both? What about CLASS, which looks to be similar?

Dirk Herr-Hoyman <> |          I tried to contain myself
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