Re: Our Friends REL and REV

Ian Graham (
Fri, 12 May 95 09:46:00 EDT

> >* I believe that We are attempting, through the REL/REV attributes,
> to define at least two distinct things:
> - the *meaning* of the relationship, and
> - the desired *implementation* should that relationship
> be accessed.
> good point. style sheets will take care of the second part. It's
> the first part we need to resolve.
> Regards,
> --
> Terry Allen ( O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

I agree, but not completely. I believe that if we can separate the
issues into the above two parts, then it should be easier to solve
the problems we are discussing. However, I am not sure that
style sheets are the entire solution to the implementation part.

For example, suppose I want to use
<LINK REL="Dictionary" URL="....."> to define a word look-up
dictionary document located at URL="....". What is my
implementation? Several are possible, and the browser must know,
at the document/browser and at the HTTP/URL level, what to do.

One implementation is as follows (gracelessly cribbed from Dave
Raggett's HTML+ notes). If I select non-anchored words in a
document, the browser searches for this word, in the document indicated
by the LINK element, and creates a popup window containing
the definition. But, how do I access the dictionary -- well, maybe
I need to do an ISINDEX-like query of the linked URL, passing to it
the clicked-upon word (as a URL-encoded GET request). This requirement
might be represented as:

<LINK REL="dictionary" ACT="IsindexQuery" URL="...">

Or maybe I just need to fork of a parallel browser process that links
to the dictionary document. Whicever, this seems to fall outside the
realm of stylesheets.

In a sense I see ACT as a generalization of the METHOD attribute for
forms, but one with a well defined default behaviour (e.g. just go and
GET the URL).

On the other hand, stylesheets should be used to control the display and
browser representation of these components, in particular for REL/REV
values within anchor elements, although even there the ACT concept
might be important.


Ian Graham .................................