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RE: What should hyperlinks do? What attributes should they have?

On Sat, 16 Mar 1996, Steve James wrote:

> I'm not so sure that explicit actions are really needed. An action =
> certainly IS taken based on the link, but the action is a matter of =
> implementation. To me, the link is a primitive transclusion that the =
> individual browser realises by starting up the GIF viewer. If one =
> chooses, the browser can be set up to just display a link to the image.=20
> That is not to say that there is no need for link attributes, just that =
> we need to be very careful in differentiating between a genuine =
> attribute and an implementation or rendering detail.

Yes, that is true.  It is easy to get the two confused.

> IMHO, a good example of a transclusion attribute would be "latest =
> version" or a specific version.

> > > Some of the attributes I have come up with for links are as follows:
> > >=20
> > > Author
> > > Creation Date
> > > Title
> > > Comments
> > > etc.
> I would tend to view the above as attributes of the transcluded material =
> rather than of the link itself.

Yes, it would be good information to have about the transcluded 
material.  However it might also be good to have such information about 
the links themselves.  Particulary in say, a world wide hypertext network 
where it could be too easy to get bogged down by too many links.

Someone might want to filter which links are visable based on various 
characteristics.  (Such as creation date or author(s), or perhaps subjects)

> > These are the ones I want to call chains.
> >=20
> > > Launch a script (or other program)
> > > Highlight a phrase.
> > > Perform a query.
> The above really only need to indicate the availability and type of =
> materials to render. The browser should know what to do with them =
> (perhaps based on preferances set by the user).

However, a certain base functionality needs to be defined as a place to 
start off from.  I'm trying to isolate what functionality we would like 
to see in our "dream" worldwide hypertext system.  It is from there that 
we can proceed to make this functionality and our dream a reality.