point LINK tag to page, not MeTa March 11, 2003 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Why does the LINK tag with rel="bookmark" on MetaFilter pages(even the front page) point to MetaTalk, rather than the pages themselves?
[more inside]
posted by Su to Bugs at 2:36 PM (14 comments total)

It seems nitpicky(Su? No!), but I'm seriously curious about the decision. I've been playing with Phoenix's site navigation bar, seeing what people are doing with LINKs, and making extensive use of them on a new thing of mine, so I'm interested, because the actual practical applications of the "rel" and "rev" attributes are always kind of vaguely defined in all the information I've found.
The way I've read things, it seems that a theoretical piece of automated software would be led to believe that metatalk.metafilter.com is the bookmark for the Metafilter front page(@ www.metafilter.com) and any of it's sub-pages, for that matter.
posted by Su at 2:37 PM on March 11, 2003

Because it's the only bookmark set up. You can have any number of bookmark tags (with different title and link attributes), but-- just to clarify (I'm guessing you already know), it doesn't have any affect on users bookmarking the page, it simply makes MetaTalk easily reachable for users. What other bookmarks would you want? I suppose some of the user pages would be handy.
posted by yerfatma at 2:54 PM on March 11, 2003

As I understand things, the rel attribute means "The following URL relates to this page in the this manner." The "bookmark" value consequently means "This is the bookmark for this page", not, "Hey, there's this other page you can also bookmark." I'm asking the question based on that logic. Essentially, the link says to me that the MetaTalk URL(metatalk.metafilter.com) is the bookmark for MetaFilter(www.metafilter.com).
If you want to point people to other pages/sections of your site, then they would go under some other "rel" value, such as "sub/section". I'm pretty sure you can just use custom values(ie: Matt has "search") for that matter. Of course, I'm willing to accept that I'm totally misreading what I've found. It's all been a little unclear on the concept. This is just the first time I've come across a bookmark LINK pointing somewhere else entirely.
posted by Su at 3:24 PM on March 11, 2003

When would the page to bookmark not be the same as the URL of the page?

I assumed that the rel="bookmark" meant here is a collection of other pages that are in someway related to this page. MetaTalk seems like a page that is related (at least loosely) to all of the MeFi pages, so it seems perfectly appropriate to me.

Matt's the only one I've seen using that though, so it could be I'm just building my conceptual map from what he's done.
posted by willnot at 3:47 PM on March 11, 2003

I guess I didn't really address what you said. I read it as here are this page's bookmarks, not here is the bookmark address for this page.
posted by willnot at 3:49 PM on March 11, 2003

I assumed that the rel="bookmark" meant here is a collection of other pages that are in someway related to this page.

That's how I was reading it too. Your suggested behavior confuses me Su: if I were to come to MetaFilter, decide I like the site and bookmark it, I would expect to bookmark the page I'm on, not an abritrary link chosen by the site's creator. You really shouldn't be able to subvert expected browser behavior through HTML-- we'll ignore the zillions of people who do for the sake of my point. If I have one.
posted by yerfatma at 5:00 PM on March 11, 2003

it's not defined anywhere in the standard for 3.2 or 4.01 so i guess you can choose what it should mean. my guess is that it's intended for either giving the title page in a multi-page document (so you bookmark the document, not the point you're reading) or, for dynamic sites with "front" pages that change, the archive url.

"someway related" doesn't make sense - the whole point of "rel" (this is defined in the standards) is to define the relationship. link itself indicates that the url is "someway related", "bookmark" means that the somehow is, specifically, "bookmark"... that doesn't help a lot, does it?

does any browser/user agent use actually it? what are you planning on doing, Su? (i would guess matt's use here is one of those "oh, i think i added that once to see what it did and forgot about it" things)
posted by andrew cooke at 5:15 PM on March 11, 2003

W3C says, Refers to a bookmark. A bookmark is a link to a key entry point within an extended document. The title attribute may be used, for example, to label the bookmark. Note that several bookmarks may be defined in each document.

The Web Design Group says, Bookmark refers to a key related document. The TITLE attribute provides a label for the bookmark.
posted by rhyax at 5:48 PM on March 11, 2003

[sorry - i screwed up in my search]
posted by andrew cooke at 6:14 PM on March 11, 2003

I would expect to bookmark the page I'm on, not an abritrary link chosen by the site's creator. You really shouldn't be able to subvert expected browser behavior through HTML
The link being set up as it is does nothing of the sort. If you hit Ctrl-D, you'll still bookmark the page you're looking at. The rel attribute seems to be more for semantic value, rather than necessarily direct interaction with the user. The same way the "alternate" value might give an automated piece of software the location of the site's RSS file, you could potentially influence the behavior of some other automated program if you want some other page to be the bookmark, because the current one may go away. Bookmark itself isn't all that interesting, but the rest of the options are. They let you effectively define an alternative(and sometimes extended, which I'll get to in a second) navigation system for a site.

does any browser/user agent use actually it?
The Mozilla family of browsers can via the site navigation bar. I think Opera also has the ability, although I'm not sure. I haven't used the thing since version 3 or so.
In terms of the bookmark value specifically, I don't know of any program whose behavior would be directly affected. As I said, I'm largely asking because this is the first time I've seen usage of it in a way that directly conflicts with what I've managed to work out about it, and was curious what drove the decision, since I could be deluded.

what are you planning on doing, Su?
I'm working on a site for myself, which will eventually be heavily internally linked, in part because of generated related entry links. I have yet to see "related entries" done well. They're generally just a list unattractively slapped onto the bottom/side of a page, kind of the way the most painstakingly-designed personal sites suddenly sprout the default Movable Type comment form. And really, there isn't much that can be done to make it pretty, I don't think. At the same time, I don't believe that most people really care about that list, so why make everybody look at it? I plan to effectively build a power-user (meta)navigation for myself(and anyone curious/interested enough to look) by using the LINKs in the document head, so that in addition to some related entries, I can also have "next/previous day/week/month" navigation etc., without having to clutter up the actual pages with 15+ more links. To take things even further, I could create an alternate stylesheet(again, available through the head links) that strips the layout of anything but content, and use the site navigation bar to get everywhere in the site; I like it when an interface stays out of my way.
posted by Su at 7:31 PM on March 11, 2003

Yay, an argument about obscure semantics!

Seriously though, the only reason I used it in that way was because I noticed the phpwiki guys were loading up the bookmark rel links with several sites related to their tool. I did it only to play with stuff in the mozilla link bar, I wasn't going for accuracy or standards.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:52 PM on March 11, 2003

The link being set up as it is does nothing of the sort.

I realize that. I thought that's what you were expecting it to be used for when I wrote.
posted by yerfatma at 4:33 AM on March 12, 2003

just read this article on multiple links (using xslt to generate pop-up menus). not that relelvant to LINK, but interesting.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:57 AM on March 12, 2003

Inside Mozilla, it seems to work as expected -- that is, with a MeFi page loaded, going to the "Bookmark" menu brings up MetaTalk. Clearly the way that it works is to provide one (or more) bookmarks that might appear on this menu -- for example, Matt could add in bookmarks for the MeFi Wiki and FAQ.

Based on the way that Site Navigation was implemented in mozilla, then, it seems to me that the point of the rel=bookmark tag isn't to define a bookmark for the current page, but one or more navigation links outside of the up, previous, next, etc. The "bookmark" text isn't meant to be interpreted by the human reader, but as a flag for tools like the Site Navigation bar. I don't see the controversy.
posted by dhartung at 10:34 AM on March 12, 2003

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