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Re: lynx-dev hidden links

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: lynx-dev hidden links
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 22:05:07 -0500 (CDT)

On Fri, 16 Jun 2000, Eduardo Chappa L. wrote:

> *** Klaus Weide (address@hidden) wrote in the Lynx list today:
> :) Just one Web site that does weird things isn't enough to establish
> :) a need.  quoting from Alan Flavell's original message,
> :) | While we would probably all agree that a web site would be unwise to
> :) | do this, nevertheless it does happen.
> :) Note the first part - he agrees that sites shouldn't do that.
> If there is something that I do not understand is why do you have to think
> that one site is not enough, one site is one example. I gave an example of

So you agree that "one site is not enough", otherwise you wouldn't feel
the need to bring in more examples. :)

Anyway, this isn't exactly the same thing.  AF's example is the first one,
and the only I know, where "hidden links" are not the result of not
displaying images AND are really meant to be "clickable" (and important
for the functionality of the page for the normal human reader).

> which I assume many people may visit that does that, the
> reason why it has not been an issue is because people don't realize that
> the hidden links do exist, 

Or maybe because they aren't missing anything by not seeing those links.

> and there is one case at least (images with no alt text) that these links
> are very visible, 

In the CNN site they don't result from images without alt attributes.
They result from images with explicit alt="" attributes.

Well, I looked at them.  What I saw, in the LIST page, with the default
-hiddenlinks behavior, is
    Hidden links:
   255. javascript:vod('/video/showbiz/2000/06/16/hollywood.minute.affl.html')

So, 9 "hidden" links, in addition to 252 regular ones.  Looking closer,
5 are very dubious-looking URLs that _I_ normally would never follow
('Type=click&ProfileID=1018...&Redirect=...', no thanks), certainly not
without a clear indication in the context that tells me what it's good
for (and which is of course missing - we're talking about hidden links,
after all).  The others (and at least one of those 5) are repeated as
normal links.

So you already have 252 links to follow, and you still think that's
not enough...  Aren't you happy lynx is hiding at least some of the
clutter?  I am, usually.

> I do not see why you insist
> that this is not important, the bottom line is that lynx is losing part of
> its usefulness not reporting that there are hidden links, some of them
> we may assume were intended to be seen. 

You may assume, but in my experience the assumption usually turns out to
be wrong.  (sole exception: the pages given by AF)

> Don't punish lynx users by poorly
> written html, lynx is in a position that no many browsers are and can give
> them the control.

Look, I'm just expressing my opinion.  I am not insisting on anything,
and I am not punishing lynx users.

I don't know what this has to do with poorly written HTML.  Those links
on the CNN page apparently were meant to be hidden, and "deserve" to be
hidden.  In my opinion.  If you really must see each and every link,
then I submit that your requirements are not very typical.  But anyway,
you *can* access them, you just have to do something for it (use the 'L'

>   Just to mention an example of this kind of behavior, take a look at
> pine4.21, it has a feature today that warns you about headers in a message
> that are related to list management (how to request help, subscribe,
> unsubscribe, archives, etc). If pine did not warn you, you would never
> look for this information in the headers (OK, maybe you would, but this
> is not what the average person would do).
>   What I am suggesting is that lynx gives somehow an information which
> turns out to be useful, any reason why not?

Because nobody who would potentially do it has found it important
Because adding some cryptic indicator (like a character on the top line)
wouldn't achieve what you want (the equivalent of pine's warning), and
a more explicit message would be (a) more trouble to add, and would (b)
just clutter the interface and would "punish" most users who have no
interest in seeing it?

But go ahead, I am not insisting that you don't.


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