<A> definition questions

Bill O'Donnell x3378 (billo@grinch.hq.ileaf.com)
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 14:21:29 +0500

Why are anchors (<A>) excluded from containing anchors?

To me, this makes some sense when anchors are used as hot text for
hypertext linking, i.e. when an HREF attribute is given for an

However, when and anchor is used as a hypertext destination marker
(with a NAME attribute only), it can be crippling. Suppose you have a
paragraph with the following text:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Suppose you want one link to go to the whole sentence, and another
link, from another location to hyperlink only to the word "fox".

You'd like to be able to say:

<A NAME=foo>The quick brown <A NAME=bar>fox</A> jumps over the lazy

This may seem like a stupid thing to want to do, but this kind of
situation happens very often in systems where a machine is generating
hypertext links based on general criteria supplied by a user.

It seems like the ID attribute in HTML 3 would solve this problem,
because you could put an ID on any element, and you could write

<P ID=foo>
The quick brown <SOMETHING ID=bar>fox</SOMETHING> jumps over the lazy dog.

The SOMETHING tag would be a tag that could be arbitrarily nested,
without causing any presentation changes. Maybe there is a tag like
this in HTML 3, but I couldn't find it looking through the older spec
at cern. Is there something like this?

Anyway, I guess my other question is this: is the ID attribute meant
to solve the problem I have described here? Or am I missing the
bigger picture?


Bill O'Donnell Prospect Place
Interleaf Inc 9 Hillside Ave
billo@ileaf.com Waltham, MA 02154