Re: Proposal to encode an EXTERNAL LINK symbol in the BMP

From: Séamas Ó Brógáin (
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 04:29:58 CDT

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    I agree with Jukka. And I think there's an additional argument that
    has not yet been made.

    The whole point of hypertext, from the time of its invention, was
    that a portion of the _text_ you are reading could lead you to
    another text. For this purpose a relevant word or phrase is
    identified (typically underlined and in a different colour) as the
    hypertext link.

    Authors of web pages use their ingenuity to decide which term should
    be used as the link that will be most useful for the reader. If you
    are reading an article about Rome, a reference to, say, the Sistine
    Chapel occurs in a natural way within the syntax of the sentence but
    is highlighted in such a way that you know that if you click on it
    you will be taken to a new text. You probably don't want a little
    pictorial symbol beside it (should I click on the symbol or on the
    words?). Even worse is a gratuitous additional phrase saying "Click
    here for . . ." These contrivances both go contrary to the idea of
    hypertext and to its greatest usefulness for readers and should be
    avoided rather than encouraged.

    Séamas Ó Brógáin

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