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From: Daryle Walker (darylew_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-03-21 10:31:34

[I've added the main Boost list to this response so the MPL guys can see

On 3/16/06 5:46 AM, "Joel de Guzman" <joel_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> In the link I presented a while ago (,
> you might have noticed that the headings are clickable.
> Headings now link to itself. Again, this is borrowed from
> the MPL docs. This allows you to right click and copy
> the URL, for example (especially useful in deeply nested
> sections). You know where you are, anywhere.

[That URL is
kbook/intro.html>, BTW. Check out the first word "Introduction" right
before the quote for the link Joel is talking about.]

I've read on some web design website that this is horrible UI. This is a
feature that may be "kewl" for very advanced users, but it's obscure for
above-average users, and detrimental to anyone else.

1. This word is an out-link without looking like an out-link. We shouldn't
be presenting data like Easter egg hunts. You could counter by saying that
the disguise is a good thing to dissuade newbies, but then how could oldbies
discover it without looking at the source, scrubbing the page, or reading
this e-mail? (It's a variant of guideline #3 at

2. Out-links to the same page is confusing to newbies. They'll think "my
link click failed," not "it's a mnemonic for my browser's 'copy URL link'
contextual-menu function." (It's based on guideline #10 from the web page I
mentioned in [1].)

3. You implemented it as:

    <a name="quickbook.intro"></a><a href="intro.html"

    As I said before, using an empty "<a name>" as an in-link is a bad idea.
You need to associate the link with something. AFAIK, nothing prevents an
anchor from being an in- and out-link simultaneously:

    <a href="intro.html" name="quickbook.intro"

    If you don't care about anything before HTML-4, you can use the "id"
attribute to mark destinations. (That's why it shares the same namespace as
the "name" attribute.)

    <h2 id="quickbook.intro">Introduction</h2>

So my final advice is to remove this mis-feature, and have the MPL docs
purge it too.

Daryle Walker
Mac, Internet, and Video Game Junkie
darylew AT hotmail DOT com

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