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Re: use <a> for hancors without content, not <span>

From: Jean-Christophe Helary
Subject: Re: use <a> for hancors without content, not <span>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 10:20:00 +0900

> On Dec 27, 2021, at 9:14, Patrice Dumas <pertusus@free.fr> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 27, 2021 at 08:38:37AM +0900, Jean-Christophe Helary wrote:
>>> <a> is the "anchor" tag which can represent either
>>> the source or destination of a link (maybe confusing terminology but
>>> that's how the word "anchor" is/was used in the context of hypertext).
>>> Even if the WHATWG don't endorse it there seems to be clear precedent
>>> for using <a> this way.  I don't feel strongly either way whether <span>
>>> or <a> is better but your argument against <span> seems valid.
>> The accepted way to specify a target is just to use "id" in any element. It 
>> seems to me that adding an "invisible" <a> just to set a location before the 
>> element that is the location is adding unnecessary cruft to the html output.
> This is not really the issue here.  The issue here is whether to use
> <span> or <a> for a separate anchor.
> We try to avoid separate anchors and prefer using id in an element
> output for formatting.  However I do not think that using id in any
> element makes sense.  In some case, there is nothing to output, so no
> formatting element.  That's the cases for which we use an invisible
> element to set a target.  This happens for @anchor, index entries, lone
> @node without associated sectioning command and empty @top.  I do not
> think that using a random nearby element would make sense.
> As a side note, it would also be problematic in term of code as we try
> to have the formatting functions redefinable by the user.  This means
> avoid as much as possible interactions between unrelated @-commands
> formatting.  It could be overcome, but it is another reason not to use
> nearby elements as target, but rather create targets when and where
> needed.

I understand. Thank you.

Jean-Christophe Helary @brandelune

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