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Using LINK to create consistent navigation icons

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 09:22:37 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199906121622.JAA10631@ayla.idyllmtn.com>
To: apembert@crosslink.net (Anne Pemberton)
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Anne asked:
> Please describe how use of the LINK attribute would display a common icon
> in a browser that could be set to such a choice...

The LINK attribute allows you to specify relationships between
groups of documents, such as "next", "back", and "top of this
collection" (in layman's terms).  Intelligent browsers can use
these to construct a top-level button bar for consistent navigation
among pages, including the creation of context-sensitive help
pages as well as icons for navigation.

_Are_ there intelligent browsers that do this?  No, not yet, because
the browser makers are pretty lame.  However, if you have access to
a macintosh computer, you will want to see iCab (which I believe is
at http://www.icab.de/ but that's from memory) as a "proof of
concept".  iCab has a pulldown menu that provides exactly these
kind of connections using LINK to group pages -- for an example, point
iCab at Jakob Nielsen's http://www.useit.com/ and pull down the
menu in the middle of the bar above the content, and you will get a
list of related sites.

It would be trivial (for a browser maker) to construct a toolbar
with graphics, based on the HTML 4.0 definitions of LINK values and
proper use of LINK on the pages.

Also, iCab is pretty good at iconic representation in some cases --
for example, there is a little happy face/sad face icon in the right
hand corner.  That is actually a "is this good HTML or bad HTML?",
meaning valid or invalid, because invalid HTML makes the iCab
browser sad.

--Kynn, from home this morning so no sig
Received on Saturday, 12 June 1999 12:23:53 GMT

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