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XHTML needs multi-ended links

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 11:59:43 -0700
Message-ID: <3DA32B1F.8010108@textuality.com>
To: WWW-Tag <www-tag@w3.org>

There has been some question about whether XHTML really needs 
multi-ended links.  Frankly, this flabbergasted me, because whenever I'm 
out looking at web pages I see things that cry out for extended links.

Here are some examples.

Go to http://www.cisco.com, do a view source and look at the brutal 
javascript/form hack they use to "select the area" of the website you 
want to go to.  That'd be nice & clean with a good XLink extended-link 
implementation.  This is common (mis-)practice at dozens of big-company 
web sites.

Go to financial news site TheStreet.com and check out a random story; 
the first one I popped up was 
http://www.thestreet.com/_tscs/tech/kcswanson/10046368.html - look at 
all those company names with the irritating parenthesis containing links 
to the quote, news, commentary, research, and analysis.  Crying out for 
extended links.

Got to a more bleeding-edge site like http://www.panopticon.com, which 
is trying to do cool menu mousovers; it doesn't work in 2 of the three 
browsers here on my mac, all of which are pretty standards-compliant. 
Do a "view source" and run away gibbering.

If I were to invest another half-hour in this I could give another 40 or 
50 examples.  It seems to me that multi-ended links of the type provided 
by xlink:type="extended" is one of the single lowest-hanging fruits out 
there if you want to make the HTML a better place for designers, 
authors, and readers. -Tim
Received on Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:59:45 GMT

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