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Re: What should hyperlinks do? What attributes should they have?
- To: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: What should hyperlinks do? What attributes should they have?
- From: "Mohd. Abul Basher" <basher@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 19:18:34 +0100
- Reply-to: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Sender: avatar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Fri, 15 Mar 1996, Art Pollard wrote:
> I've been giving a fair amount of thought lately to allowing hyperlinks
> to have attributes. This of course, also implies that they have the
> ability to do other things besides "link". For example in HTML, it is
> possible to link to an image. (i.e., the link in this case had an
> "action" associated with it -- start up the GIF viewer and display image
Very glad to know that you are thinking about this topic. I am also
doing some works regarding hyperlinks. Hyperlinks so far are *static*,
since their destinations are *pre-defined*. My intention is to create
*Dynamic Links*, using these object-oriented features of links.
After Hyper-G separated links from the nodes, making them `objects', it is
now possible to give them features like having properties(attributes),
methods and events, to make *dynamic links*. What you are mentioning with
`action' is actually methods in OO term. There could also be many events
that links will be notified by the system, for example, clicking or
double-clicking on it, visiting the link etc.
Let me more clarify the idea regarding Dynamic Links. Links can respond
to mouse-click event to launch a script(or a program) which can return
a *destination anchor* or a *descriptor* of destination anchor. That means
the link could lead you to some destination which is defined *on the
spot* -- in other words, links can be dynamic and *intelligent*. In many
applications, such as a stock-share database, the destination of a link
might not be known beforewards. It could vary depending on the
current data, date/time, user identity etc. The script associated with
the links can perform some computing to determine where, *this time*, a
link should lead you to. This gives more flexibility to the hypermedia
systems' navigation technique, and careful implementation of the feature
will definitely lead to a *intelligent linking* in hypermedia.
(The necessity of Dynamic Links will be discussed with examples at my
Hyper-G HomePage addressed below).
I propose that the new-generation hypermedia servers (like Hyper-G)
should support this Dynamic Linking concept, and a Client/Server protocol
should be worked out enabling this feature. Howevere, more thoughts are
> Some of the attributes I have come up with for links are as follows:
> Creation Date
> Some actions associated with links I can think of are as follows:
> Launch a script (or other program)
> Highlight a phrase.
> Perform a query.
> Simply jump.
> What other attributes and actions might/should links posess? I envision
> that links should have a fair amount of structural information to them
> (much in the same way a document would). Some might argue that links
> should be fairly minimalest and only link. However, I disagree as the
> links themselves in many ways become part of the document and thus (like
> different parts of a document) need to serve a wide variety of functions.
> How robust should links be? What attributes should they have? What
> actions should be associated with them?
Hope to share more ideas about Dynamic Links in near future.
/ http://meranti.fit.unimas.my/BashersHomeCollection /
/ hyperg://meranti.fit.unimas.my/BashersHomeCollection /