The rel attribute (relation type) is among one of the most misunderstood attributes in markup languages (xml, html, xhtml etc)
The simplest way to explain it is that it provides the semantics of the link. Thus answering the questions:
- What resource does the URI refer to
- What is the significance of the link
- What kind of actions can a client perform on the resource at the URI?
- What are the supported representation formats for requests and responses for that resource
Hope this has helped you understand the attribute a bit more.
Till next time, happy linking!