Contents Update to The XHTML 1.0 Language and Design Sourcebook

Discussion of rel and rev Attribute Values and their Meanings

The a and link elements can take rel and rev attributes to define the meaning of the link relationship. In the case of link, some special meanings (such as rel="stylesheet") are understood by the browser, but in general most values don't have any meaning to the browser (on exception is the Macintosh iCab browser, available at

Early on in the development of HTML, Murray Maloney and Liam Quin wrote up a draft specification for rel/rev values, which has served as the foundatation for many current implementations. This draft specification never became a standard, but you can still access it and get an understanding of the different value and what they were intended to mean. This document is available at:

A few years ago, I wrote up a longer document explaining some of this material in more detail, and providing some examples of recommended usage. This is also not a formal standard, but might be of interest if you want to know more about using rel/rev values in your own Web applications. This document is available in several Word processor formats:

© 2000, by Ian S. Graham Last Modified: 23 March 2000