Using "shape" attribute withour "coords" in an "a" tag

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Albert Wiersch, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. I know it is technically valid, but why would one use the "shape" attribute
    with an "a" tag but not use the "coords" attribute too? Is there any logical
    reason for doing this?

    --
    Albert Wiersch
     
    Albert Wiersch, Aug 16, 2005
    #1
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  2. "Albert Wiersch" <>
    wrote:

    > I know it is technically valid,


    Are you sure? Did you use a real validator? :)

    > but why would one use the "shape"
    > attribute with an "a" tag but not use the "coords" attribute too?


    Beats me. Have you seen someone do that? The effect is undefined.
    But maybe someone intends to set the coords attribute via client-side
    scripting. That would normally be a poor idea, of course.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 16, 2005
    #2
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  3. Albert Wiersch wrote:

    >
    > I know it is technically valid, but why would one use the "shape"
    > attribute with an "a" tag but not use the "coords" attribute too? Is there
    > any logical reason for doing this?


    shape="default" specifies the entire region (See
    <http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#adef-shape>), hence no need
    for explicit coordinates.

    --
    Benjamin Niemann
    Email: pink at odahoda dot de
    WWW: http://www.odahoda.de/
     
    Benjamin Niemann, Aug 16, 2005
    #3
  4. "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns96B4C3BAD7329jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "Albert Wiersch" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > Beats me. Have you seen someone do that? The effect is undefined.
    > But maybe someone intends to set the coords attribute via client-side
    > scripting. That would normally be a poor idea, of course.


    Yes, it came up when someone checked the W3C page with CSE HTML Validator
    and brought it to my attention. CSE HTML Validators shows this as an error
    because it doesn't make logical sense. The page is:
    http://www.w3.org/

    The above page sets the "shape" attribute to "rect" but does not use the
    "coords" attribute. They do this numerous times.

    I was wondering why they would do that. It seems there is no logical reason
    why and that the W3C should remove the "shape" attribute in this situation
    to "clean up the page". Please correct me if there is a reason for doing
    this that I am missing.

    By the way, I would prefer not to get into the argument of the definition of
    "HTML Validator" again.

    --
    Albert Wiersch
    http://www.htmlvalidator.com/
     
    Albert Wiersch, Aug 16, 2005
    #4
  5. Albert Wiersch <>
    wrote:

    >> Beats me. Have you seen someone do that? The effect is undefined.
    >> But maybe someone intends to set the coords attribute via
    >> client-side scripting. That would normally be a poor idea, of
    >> course.

    >
    > Yes, it came up when someone checked the W3C page with CSE HTML
    > Validator and brought it to my attention. CSE HTML Validators
    > shows this as an error because it doesn't make logical sense. The
    > page is: http://www.w3.org/


    Well, it's not an error, as you will see if you try it in a validator
    ;-)

    The default value for the shape attribute is "rect", so if you don't
    specify it, it will be inferred, making

    <a href="...">...</a>

    and

    <a href="..." shape="rect">...</a>

    exactly the same.

    As Benjamin Niemann said, shape="default" specifies the entire region,
    so it can make sense to use shape but not coords.

    > The above page sets the "shape" attribute to "rect" but does not
    > use the "coords" attribute. They do this numerous times.
    > I was wondering why they would do that.


    I have no idea. Maybe the tool they used inserts all default values.
    Looks like they used HTML Tidy - maybe it has an option to do that.

    --
    David Håsäther
     
    David Håsäther, Aug 16, 2005
    #5
  6. "David Håsäther" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns96B4CFD4FDD13davidhasather@195.67.237.53...
    >
    > Well, it's not an error, as you will see if you try it in a validator
    > ;-)


    Yes, I know it is another issue that is technically valid but is not good
    syntax/form.

    > As Benjamin Niemann said, shape="default" specifies the entire region,
    > so it can make sense to use shape but not coords.


    Yes, but only when it is shape="default", not shape="rect".

    > I have no idea. Maybe the tool they used inserts all default values.
    > Looks like they used HTML Tidy - maybe it has an option to do that.


    Maybe... but it seems like bad form that shouldn't be used.

    --
    Albert Wiersch
    http://www.htmlvalidator.com/
     
    Albert Wiersch, Aug 16, 2005
    #6
  7. Albert Wiersch

    Neredbojias Guest

    With neither quill nor qualm, Albert Wiersch quothed:

    >
    > I know it is technically valid, but why would one use the "shape" attribute
    > with an "a" tag but not use the "coords" attribute too? Is there any logical
    > reason for doing this?


    Maybe they're not quite sure about the shape of things to come.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
     
    Neredbojias, Aug 16, 2005
    #7
  8. "Albert Wiersch" <>
    wrote:

    > Yes, it came up when someone checked the W3C page with CSE HTML
    > Validator and brought it to my attention. CSE HTML Validators shows
    > this as an error because it doesn't make logical sense.


    This just proves that your product is not a validator and that it spits out
    messages that tell your opinions on various matters.

    > The above page sets the "shape" attribute to "rect" but does not use
    > the "coords" attribute. They do this numerous times.


    Of course, the attribute shape="rect" has no effect if the <a> element is
    not actually used in the context of an image map. It's simply futile, not
    an error. Adding a coords attribute without changing anything else, as your
    "validator" seems to be doing, would just add another futile attribute.

    > I was wondering why they would do that.


    Probably because they use authoring software that likes to produce shape
    attributes. But is that your problem? Your problem is that your product
    reports an error when there is none, and you are even trying to make this a
    case _for_ your product. And you _first_ made your product report something
    as an error, and apparently only then did you start asking whether it is an
    error.

    > By the way, I would prefer not to get into the argument of the
    > definition of "HTML Validator" again.


    There was never an argument. People were just reminded of the fact that you
    sell a product as a validator when it is not.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 16, 2005
    #8
  9. "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns96B5FF30AE26jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "Albert Wiersch" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > This just proves that your product is not a validator and that it spits
    > out
    > messages that tell your opinions on various matters.


    Pretty good idea when a real validator doesn't catch so many things that
    don't make sense, are futile, are against good form, or just plain wrong
    and/or likely to cause problems with real-world browsers. Besdies, like I
    said before, my opinions are mainly based on the W3C recommendations,
    real-world experience, and user experience.

    > Of course, the attribute shape="rect" has no effect if the <a> element is
    > not actually used in the context of an image map. It's simply futile, not
    > an error. Adding a coords attribute without changing anything else, as
    > your
    > "validator" seems to be doing, would just add another futile attribute.


    Yes, that makes sense. I can probably improve the messages.

    > Probably because they use authoring software that likes to produce shape
    > attributes. But is that your problem? Your problem is that your product
    > reports an error when there is none, and you are even trying to make this
    > a
    > case _for_ your product. And you _first_ made your product report
    > something
    > as an error, and apparently only then did you start asking whether it is
    > an
    > error.


    I don't really care to make a case for my product (that's not why I asked),
    but it should be clear how limited a real validator is and that HTML linters
    and checkers can find many issues that real validators can't. This is just
    one of the cases where a "non-real" validator found what you would call a
    "futile" attribute. Obviously it is not good form to use futile attributes.
    I don't think you'd disagree with that.

    Anyone, it seems my original question was answered well enough. In the case
    of the w3.org page, the "shape" attribute was technically valid to use but
    "futile", so it was bad form. It was futile because there was no "coords"
    attribute and because it wasn't used with an image map.

    --
    Albert Wiersch
    http://www.htmlvalidator.com/
     
    Albert Wiersch, Aug 17, 2005
    #9
  10. "Albert Wiersch" <>
    wrote:

    > but it should be clear how limited a real validator is


    It performs a well-defined job, as opposite to looking here and there and
    making proposals and issuing error messages based on someone's opinions.

    > and that HTML
    > linters and checkers can find many issues that real validators can't.


    You mean like the non-issue that your phoney validator reports as an error?
    It's sad that there are no good HTML linters (actually never were), but
    it's probably too late now. That, however, is not a reason to pay for a
    broken checker called, in an intentionally misleading way, a validator.

    > This is just one of the cases where a "non-real" validator found what
    > you would call a "futile" attribute. Obviously it is not good form to
    > use futile attributes.


    That's your opinion. It is based on limited experience with the practice of
    HTML authoring. And it is certainly objectively wrong to call a futile
    attribute an error when it in fact conforms to any relevant specification.

    > I don't think you'd disagree with that.


    Then you are wrong.

    I see little reason to remove futile attributes, if a document contains
    them as by-products of some HTML generator or as holdovers from some
    previous version of the document where they were not futile, or maybe in
    preparation for the next version that will drop the "f" from futility.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 17, 2005
    #10
  11. "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns96B5E741AA955jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    >
    >> but it should be clear how limited a real validator is

    >
    > It performs a well-defined job, as opposite to looking here and there and
    > making proposals and issuing error messages based on someone's opinions.


    Which is fine if you want to limit yourself to what is "well-defined" and
    ignore other potential issues like bgcolor="dfsdgfdsfgdfg".

    >
    >> and that HTML linters and checkers can find many issues that real
    >> validators can't.

    >
    > You mean like the non-issue that your phoney validator reports as an
    > error?
    > It's sad that there are no good HTML linters (actually never were), but
    > it's probably too late now. That, however, is not a reason to pay for a
    > broken checker called, in an intentionally misleading way, a validator.


    It seems like you've never used my validator, or don't understand it (or,
    more likely, you can't get over the fact that it doesn't conform to your
    chosen definition of validator). If it points out an issue that is not
    really an issue, then feel free to bring it to my attention. I may change
    it. You can also configure it as you want on a per-message basis.

    >
    >> This is just one of the cases where a "non-real" validator found what
    >> you would call a "futile" attribute. Obviously it is not good form to
    >> use futile attributes.

    >
    > That's your opinion. It is based on limited experience with the practice
    > of
    > HTML authoring. And it is certainly objectively wrong to call a futile
    > attribute an error when it in fact conforms to any relevant specification.


    I don't limit the definition of "error" to what is only technically wrong.
    Again, it just seems you have a problem with the name of the program and
    "error" which means, according to the dictionary "a mistake" or "deviation
    from what is correct", among other definitions.

    > I see little reason to remove futile attributes, if a document contains
    > them as by-products of some HTML generator or as holdovers from some
    > previous version of the document where they were not futile, or maybe in
    > preparation for the next version that will drop the "f" from futility.


    Then you can disable the message in CSE HTML Validator and use all the
    futile attributes you want in hopes that they become useful, or for whatever
    other reason you want.

    Anyhow, I'm not going to continue this argument. It's lost its usefulness to
    the group.

    --
    Albert Wiersch
    http://www.htmlvalidator.com/
     
    Albert Wiersch, Aug 18, 2005
    #11
  12. "Albert Wiersch" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    >
    > "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns96B5E741AA955jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > >
    > >> but it should be clear how limited a real validator is

    > >
    > > It performs a well-defined job, as opposite to looking here and there

    and
    > > making proposals and issuing error messages based on someone's opinions.

    >
    > Which is fine if you want to limit yourself to what is "well-defined" and
    > ignore other potential issues like bgcolor="dfsdgfdsfgdfg".
    >
    > >
    > >> and that HTML linters and checkers can find many issues that real
    > >> validators can't.

    > >
    > > You mean like the non-issue that your phoney validator reports as an
    > > error?
    > > It's sad that there are no good HTML linters (actually never were), but
    > > it's probably too late now. That, however, is not a reason to pay for a
    > > broken checker called, in an intentionally misleading way, a validator.

    >
    > It seems like you've never used my validator, or don't understand it (or,
    > more likely, you can't get over the fact that it doesn't conform to your
    > chosen definition of validator). If it points out an issue that is not
    > really an issue, then feel free to bring it to my attention. I may change
    > it. You can also configure it as you want on a per-message basis.
    >
    > >
    > >> This is just one of the cases where a "non-real" validator found what
    > >> you would call a "futile" attribute. Obviously it is not good form to
    > >> use futile attributes.

    > >
    > > That's your opinion. It is based on limited experience with the practice
    > > of
    > > HTML authoring. And it is certainly objectively wrong to call a futile
    > > attribute an error when it in fact conforms to any relevant

    specification.
    >
    > I don't limit the definition of "error" to what is only technically wrong.
    > Again, it just seems you have a problem with the name of the program and
    > "error" which means, according to the dictionary "a mistake" or "deviation
    > from what is correct", among other definitions.
    >
    > > I see little reason to remove futile attributes, if a document contains
    > > them as by-products of some HTML generator or as holdovers from some
    > > previous version of the document where they were not futile, or maybe in
    > > preparation for the next version that will drop the "f" from futility.

    >
    > Then you can disable the message in CSE HTML Validator and use all the
    > futile attributes you want in hopes that they become useful, or for

    whatever
    > other reason you want.
    >
    > Anyhow, I'm not going to continue this argument. It's lost its usefulness

    to
    > the group.
    >


    On the contrary. If it's not a validator, just don't call it a validator.
    Not hard, is it ?

    --
    Richard
     
    Richard Rundle, Aug 18, 2005
    #12
  13. "Albert Wiersch" <>
    wrote:

    > "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns96B5E741AA955jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    >>
    >>> but it should be clear how limited a real validator is

    >>
    >> It performs a well-defined job, as opposite to looking here and there
    >> and making proposals and issuing error messages based on someone's
    >> opinions.

    >
    > Which is fine if you want to limit yourself to what is "well-defined"
    > and ignore other potential issues like bgcolor="dfsdgfdsfgdfg".


    I'd rather have a validator that performs some useful checking objectively
    than a phoney validator that cannot be trusted.

    >> You mean like the non-issue that your phoney validator reports as an
    >> error? It's sad that there are no good HTML linters (actually never
    >> were), but it's probably too late now. That, however, is not a reason
    >> to pay for a broken checker called, in an intentionally misleading
    >> way, a validator.

    >
    > It seems like you've never used my validator,


    As I have told previously, I have used it enough to see what it is, and you
    yourself provide further evidence.

    > or don't understand it


    Which one of us is knows HTML, seriously?

    > (or, more likely, you can't get over the fact that it doesn't conform
    > to your chosen definition of validator).


    I wouldn't get over your calling a cow a horse, no matter how often you
    claim it's just about my private definition of a horse.

    > If it points out an issue that
    > is not really an issue, then feel free to bring it to my attention. I
    > may change it.


    How noble.

    Now you have confirmed that the product you sell produces just messages
    according to your taste.

    > I don't limit the definition of "error" to what is only technically
    > wrong.


    Why does this remind me of the question how to define "sex"? You seem to
    use the word "technically" just to call a cow a horse. After all, we should
    not be limited to the technical definition of a horse, so if a cow sells
    better as a horse...

    Well, it's just part of your making your personal opinions the ultimate
    criterion on HTML.

    > Anyhow, I'm not going to continue this argument.


    You never answered why you keep calling a non-validator a validator, except
    by admitting that it is not "technically" (i.e., in reality) a validator.

    > It's lost its usefulness to the group.


    Au contraire, it is useful to people to know what your product really is.
    We can also conjecture that it is pointless to try to teach you HTML by
    answering your questions that you apparently ask in order to work on the
    product just to add a few additional "error messages".

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 18, 2005
    #13
  14. "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns96B6ED74798D1jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "Albert Wiersch" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > You never answered why you keep calling a non-validator a validator,
    > except
    > by admitting that it is not "technically" (i.e., in reality) a validator.


    I've answered it many times. This is an example of why I'm not going to
    continue to talk about it - it goes no where. See my previous messages for
    why it is called a validator. Look up the word validate in the dictionary
    (note that there is more than one definition).

    --
    Albert Wiersch
    http://www.htmlvalidator.com/
     
    Albert Wiersch, Aug 19, 2005
    #14
  15. Albert Wiersch

    Neredbojias Guest

    With neither quill nor qualm, Albert Wiersch quothed:

    >
    > "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns96B6ED74798D1jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > > "Albert Wiersch" <>
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > > You never answered why you keep calling a non-validator a validator,
    > > except
    > > by admitting that it is not "technically" (i.e., in reality) a validator.

    >
    > I've answered it many times. This is an example of why I'm not going to
    > continue to talk about it - it goes no where. See my previous messages for
    > why it is called a validator. Look up the word validate in the dictionary
    > (note that there is more than one definition).


    Hey, I might be a smartass and make immature posts on purpose, but you 2
    sound like little kids obliviously.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
     
    Neredbojias, Aug 19, 2005
    #15
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