The graphical conceit of tabs is a prevalent one on the web, and that fact is not without justification. Hyperlinks are like little doors suggesting treasure troves behind, tabs marked “top secret” in an FBI agent’s filofax. One can find unordered lists of main navigation links marauding as file folder tabs all over the Internet.
Which is all well and good, but what happens when tabs are not merely hyperlinks to other pages, but are rather intended to show and hide information without a page refresh? The problem of how to semantically mark up such inline tabs has troubled me for years. Yes, years.
At long last, about a year ago, it occurred to me — something so fundamental to the Internet, I couldn’t believe I had overlooked it for so long. Of course there was a deeply semantic way for me to link a list of hyperlinks at the top of a page to corresponding set of content further down: named anchors. Duh!