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Re: Seeking One-Button BackLink Browser

From: Robin Hanson <hanson@hss.caltech.edu>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 95 12:07:30 PDT
Message-Id: <9509151907.AA21695@hss.caltech.edu>
To: www-talk@w3.org
Cc: hanson@hss.caltech.edu, Adam Jack <ajack@corp.micrognosis.com>

I wrote:
>  Given that I'm looking at a page (call it page1), I want to push just
>  one button, and get a page which lists pages which reference page1.
>Backlinks were a central feature of early "hypertext" visions.  They
>would, for example, allow people to easily find criticism of pages.
>Imagine that people at the home page of the CIA, RJR Reynolds, etc., or
>at some high-profile Op-Ed article, could find responding critiques
>with just one button push!  

Adam Jack replied:

	The referring URL is available in the HTTP request for pages.
	Many sites use it in CGI scripts to include it into the HTML
	the provide. It is IMHO - given the current state of HTML - up 
	to the page creator to modify the page content. The browser
	shouldn't be involved.

	This is also logged. I have a script that scans the logs to see
	who viewed my pages with what browsers - and where they came from.
	... BTW - I form this scripts output into an HTML page which I 
	publish internally. I just need to click on the URLs to go
	do exactly as you suggest. It is a lesson and a half.

You misunderstand.  Yes, it's nice that a page author can see the URLs
which reference it, and that this author might modify their page to let
readers see these URLs.  But I want to see these URLs for all pages,
even for pages where the author would rather I didn't see them.  The
CIA and RJR aren't likely to make it easy to find criticism of
their pages. 

Robin Hanson  hanson@hss.caltech.edu  http://www.hss.caltech.edu/~hanson/
818-683-9153  2433 Oswego St., Pasadena, CA  91107   FAX: 818-405-9841
818-395-4093  Div. Hum. & Soc. Sci. 228-77 Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125
Received on Friday, 15 September 1995 15:06:37 UTC

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