two ideas....

Marc Andreessen (
Mon, 14 Dec 92 11:32:40 -0800

At some point we're going to want to implement two somewhat
specialized types of nodes:

(1) To support the effect of having one-to-many links, we'll want to
have a special kind of document that consists entirely of a list
of anchors (pointing to the many links) that will be referenced by
the initial anchor. This document should pop up as a small
transient dialog box to provide the effect of the one-to-many

(2) To support the type of glossary used with, e.g., the Microsoft
Windows help system (wherein clicking on a glossary reference
gives one a transient dialog box containing only the glossary
entry one is accessing), it should be possible to have a small
amount of text displayed in a dialog box auxiliary to the current
document instead of as a full document.

The commonality here is that some documents should only appear in
dialog boxes (when the browser supports it) as opposed to appearing
and being dealt with as full-fledged regular documents.

The advantages in implementing this kind of thing are (1) WWW becomes
a little more like some other current systems (notably Intermedia,
with the effectively one-to-many links), boosting its ability to take
over the functions that other systems have provided up until now, and
(2) navigational disorientation is lessened when minor references
(e.g., to glossary entries or menus of anchors) are instantiated
onscreen as minor GUI elements.

So how about allowing a tag (say, <transient>) to be included in the
header of an HTML document to specify this property?


ps Specifically for the glossary system, I'm thinking of having a
regular glossary document with all the entries in a list and then
having a special server shell script strip (say that three times fast)
out a given entry when it's needed, adding the <transient> flag while
constructing a document for the entry on the fly.