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RE: Anchor Names -- a P4 item?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 09:08:09 -0500
Message-Id: <200006021255.IAA2296097@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 11:40 PM 2000-06-01 -0500, Al Gilman wrote:
>
>But on Bruce's original question, anchor names appear in the UI in the
>status line in various browsers, and are relevant if you have to hand-enter
>the URL, and in that case mnemonic quality is a plus.

The other user who benefits from mnemonic anchor names is the author of
another page somewhere else which has a use for a link to this point in the
document.

This was the logical point on which my software engineering background got
the better of me at one point in the WAI history, as we were looking
forward to the concurrent development of the three guidelines documents.
If one is developing (i.e. changing) multiple documents with a need to
refer to one another, it is the _inbound_ connecting points, the anchor
_names_, that need to be stabilized (put under some form of change control,
accountable to those holding dependencies) for others to point at.  The
outbound link points can change freely without upsetting dependencies from
others.  In this situation, it makes sense to think through a mnenonic
system, because autonumber will defeat any desire for stability.

On the other hand, I think that we do need to look at how the medium _is_
being used.  A lot of what is moving to the Web today is not thought out in
these terms.  Maybe this is the wrong battle to be spending our time on.
There is a general rule that from afar off, you ususally want to point the
reader somewhere up the tree, not directly at a minute leaf level topic in
someone else's site.  Except for things like dictionaries, where the URL
may well be in search-parameter format anyway.

There is this problem with framesets, isn't there, that one cannot cite and
retrieve with a URI-reference a given state in the frame-loading process?

Then again, given that Google is the hot search engine of the moment, and
what Google makes its hay out of, maybe people _should_ be giving more
thought to what will help the poor sucker who _wants_ to link to some point
in your page.

Al

PS: Historical reference

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/1998OctDec/0109.html
Received on Friday, 2 June 2000 08:54:19 GMT

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