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typed link

The use of typed links is usually thought of as leading to semantic links containing authored informatin. However, as noted by Jakob Neilsen?, this is not necessary: "if the user interface formally recognized different link types, it could display and manage them differently." For instance, an obvious distinction is between internal and external link, easily identifiable by a web browser?, via the domain name? in the URL: "if you're displaying a page from foobar.com, links to foobar.com pages are internal and all others are external."

"A slightly more advanced system might recognize the possibility of a given company owning multiple domains."

"Many website designers have attempted to design icons that notify users about links to external sites, but these attempts usually fail because the designs are non-standard. Jakob's Law? states that users spend most of their time on other sites and form their expectations based on their aggregated user experience. Thus, unless all sites have the same icons (and use them consistently), it's a doomed endeavor to visualize link typing with icons, rather than to embed types at a deeper system level." That is, until there is a semantic link standard, it's futile, which may be why reviving advanced hypertext is taking some time.

"Of course, typed links could have many uses beyond the simple internal/external distinction. For example, browsers could treat destinations that require micropayment?" or any form of login? or user registration?"differently than free links. Similarly, they could distinguish between links to arguments that support or refute a position." See the issue/position/argument form for more details on this.



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