Multiple Destination Links

Marty Detwiler (cmdetwi@r2411srw.nsr.hp.com)
Wed, 23 Aug 1995 17:20:18 -0600


Date: Wed, 23 Aug 1995 17:20:18 -0600
From: Marty Detwiler <cmdetwi@r2411srw.nsr.hp.com>
Message-Id: <199508232320.AA041970018@r2411srw.nsr.hp.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject:  Multiple Destination Links

I don't know if this has been proposed already or not:

There are times when defining a link with the anchor syntax in HTML that you would
like to point to more than one object with the same description.  Example:

This tutorial will describe how to use _Perl_.
                                      ^^^^^^^  Hypertext link.

This link might point to a general description of Perl, the source code for Perl, information
on uses of Perl, etc.  What I propose is a simple extension to the anchor syntax that would
look something like:

<A HREF="http://www.w3.org/link1.html3">Perl Description;  HREF="http://www.w3.org/link2.html3"
 >Perl Info;  HREF="http://www.w3.org/link3.html3">Perl Source Code</A>

The client viewer would display the link just a normal link, or perhaps color coded to indicate
that the link points to more than one destination.  The default behavior of clicking the link
with the left mouse would traverse to the first link in the list.  But if the right mouse was used
a popup menu would appear, (similar to what Netscape has now with the right mouse, but context 
sensitive when on links), letting the user choose which destination to go to.  I am not sure 
how this would work with text-based viewers.

I can think of a number of uses for such multiple destination links.  You might have several formats
of the document to link to such as HTML with multiple images, HTML with text only, text, 
Postscipt for printing a hierarchy, Framemaker, etc.  You might use it to define a term in various 
ways such as dictionary definition, encyclopedia entry, reference material, etc.  You could use it
to point to similar reference works with multiple web destination points.  For instance, if you
were discussing HTML in a document you could link the word HTML with the various HTML FAQs, tutorials,
reference documents and so on.  It seems to me that something like this would greatly increase the
readability of documents, presenting the user with only the information he needs, but also allowing
him the flexibility to get the reference material that is of interest to him.