Hyperlink Terminology Re: Comments on June 8 draft (long)

Daniel W. Connolly (connolly@beach.w3.org)
Wed, 14 Jun 95 16:38:21 EDT

In message <9506142002.AA09717@mailer.oclc.org>, Ian Graham writes:
>As a small followup to an excellent post:
>> 6. Hyperlinks
>> [ Comments: The terms "head" and "tail" to describe
>> linkends was totally unfamiliar -- this is the first
>> I've heard these terms used in this way. I quickly
>> got used to the terminology, but mostly because
>> I already knew what, e.g., <A HREF="..."> means,
>> and when it was described as a "tail" that clued
>> me in to the meaning of the Dexter terminology.
>> Suggestion: keep the terms "head" and "tail", but
>> add a brief description of what they mean and
>> the traversal direction (activating the tail
>> anchor traverses to the head anchor?)
>> ]
>I would suggest the use of the words "anchor" for the
>start of a hypertext link and "target" for the end. This
>usage is already being used in a draft document on link
>relationships, being written by Murray Maloney, and is
>I *think* consistent with previous usage in this group
>and with usage in other SGML applications.

The HTML 2.0 spec cites the DEXTER reference model. That's what
TimBL's hypertext research was based on, and what most modern
hypertext literature is based on. Now I admit that I haven't actually
read the seminal DEXTER paper, but I have read related papers, and
they're pretty consistent:

* a link is a pair of anchors (or a set of anchors)
(kinda like an edge in a graph)
* a anchor is an endpoint of a link
(kinda like a vertex in a graph)



for more DEXTER URLs