Link Terminology

Murray Altheim (
Tue, 1 Aug 95 10:59:12 EDT

I suppose this type of thing could be the start of a religious war, but I'm
a little confused as to the new "head" and "tail" terminology in describing
link relations. It seems backward to me (although many things do), and I
was wondering if there were any others out there who felt "link" and
"target" described the relationship less ambiguously. Or at least what the
rationale was in making the change.

>From the June 16th 2.0 draft:

"In addition to general purpose elements such as paragraphs and lists, HTML
documents can express hyperlinks. A hyperlink is a relationship between two
anchors, called the head and the tail of the hyperlink[DEXTER]. An anchor
is a resource such as an HTML document, or some fragment of, i.e. view on
or portion of a resource. Typically, the user activates a link by
indicating the tail of the link; the head of the link is presented as a
result." [1]

Honestly, I would have thought one activated the head and received the
tail, much as a large snake usually starts with the chicken's head and ends
up at his tail. The other way around the chicken's legs usually get in the

[I censored my other head and tail jokes.]

Just part of my morning ponderings,



Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia