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Learning WML, and WMLScript by Martin Frost

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The <a> Element

If you’ve done much work with HTML, the <anchor> element may seem like a lot of typing. Sure, it’s more flexible than HTML’s <A> tag, but it seems much nicer to simply type:

<A HREF="somewhere">linked text</A>

than it is to type:

<anchor><go href="somewhere"/>linked text</anchor>

Fear not: the designers of WML also recognized this fact and provided WML with the <a> element. (The name must be a lowercase a.) It’s a useful shorthand for this simple case of the <anchor> element, which also has the benefit of looking familiar to HTML developers. It takes two attributes:

title (optional variable string)

This has exactly the same effect as the title attribute on the <anchor> element. It provides an optional title for the element, which some browsers may use in displaying it. The same caveats apply: it’s wise to keep the length to at most six characters, and the browser is free to ignore the attribute (as indeed most do).

href (required variable URL)

Specifies the URL to go to when the link is activated.

For example, the element:

<a title="Next" href="page17.wml">Next Page</a>

is exactly equivalent to:

<anchor title="Next">
    <go href="page17.wml"/>
    Next Page
</anchor>

The form using the <a> element is also more efficient than the form using <anchor>, as there is less to transmit to the browser. Try to use the <a> form wherever possible.

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