Link Tags

Ok, maybe you don't use that much CSS or JavaScript. But the vast majority of the pages on the Web are made using HTML or XHTML. It is a fundamental part of the web. So you would think IE could manage to support it properly. But if you have learned anything by now, it is that IE is not as perfect as you are let to believe. IE actually ignores such basic tags as <abbr> even though they have been in the same HTML standard that IE 4 is supposed to support.

But this is not about <abbr> tags, it is about <link> tags. These tags only appear in the document head and are used, amongst other things, to add stylesheets to the document. And yes, IE understands that. But these tags also have an even more clever use. Each page can have link tags that point to the next page, the previous page, the index page, the home page, etc. You get the idea. These can even be used to tell the browser that an RSS or Atom newsfeed is available, or where to find translations of the page.

The browser should display these in a toolbar (or some other appropriate medium), and is even supported by text browsers like Lynx and Links. That way, the browser automatically provides navigation. Perfect for galleries, paged articles like this one, or just keeping a convenient link back to the start page in case they get lost. Using CSS content, you can even automatically display these as a page footer.

But we don't need it do we IE? Of course not. We don't even need to be able to display them using CSS content, do we? We can add loads of regular links. Forget the fact that it makes it more accessible. Forget the convenience. IE can ignore things. No matter how old or useful they are.

Demo: If you have a link navigation bar, you should see it now (you may have to make it visible using your browser's preferences - usually in the 'view' menu).

Workaround: Put loads of extra, unnecessary regular links in your page. You can still put the useful <link> tags in for users of better browsers. Get your visitors to install the link toolbar.

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