At this moment VisualEditor depends on rel attribute to identify type of the link. Not having rel attribute wouldn't make things easier in VisualEditor when converting from internal to external (or other way round) since it requires replacing internal type of the annotation anyways.

I don't like that consumer of HTMLDOM would have to know certain rules (starts with http or Special:BookSources) in order to recognize type of the element.


On Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 12:37 PM, Gabriel Wicke <> wrote:

I'd like to ask you for your input on a change to the DOM spec [1] we
are considering. The idea is to simplify links by removing the explicit
mw:WikiLink or mw:ExtLink typeof attributes:

  <a rel="mw:WikiLink" href="./Main_Page">Main Page</a>
  <a rel="mw:ExtLink" href=""></a>

would become just

  <a href="Main_Page">Main Page</a>
  <a href=""></a>

Reasons for this change are:

- The external vs. internal link distinction is pretty simple to do
  with a prefix match on the href.

- When editing, an internal link can turn into an external one and
  vice-versa. Editors should not have to deal with updating the typeof
  to reflect the information already available in the href attribute.

- The page source will be slightly cleaner and smaller.

Potential disadvantages we see are

- For ISBN links [2], we will continue to link to Special:BookSources,
  which looks internal. Matching on that to identify ISBN links should
  however not be harder than it is right now.

Are you currently relying on these typeofs? Do you see other issues with
this proposed change?

Thanks for your input,



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