Re: Control areas ?

Christian Mogensen (mogens@CS.Stanford.EDU)
Tue, 22 Nov 1994 03:09:31 -0800

The following suggestion was appended to one of the IBM internal news groups :

>Can those who are communicating with the informal HTML development
>outside IBM suggest the addition in the browsers of an area on
>the browser frame, of a top (header) and bottom (footer) area,
>It would be nice to have this plus an html tag which allowed specification
>of either an image map, a set of icons, or a set of char strings
>with html anchors '<a HREF=' in these areas. Thus your 'icons'
>for forward and backward page movement, search and navigation would
>not scroll with the document and you wouldn't have to go all the way
>to the top or bottom of a long file to get to them.

>Seems to me that this might be a good idea. It would need an HTML extention
>but I doubt that this would be consistent with SGML. Perhaps it could go
>into the <head> area ?

I always figured LINK was intended for this sort of use - the fact that
the BACK button always takes you to the previously seen instead of the
logically previous document is something I have taken to be historical
accident. A decent browser should be able to parse the LINK data to
help you navigate. Press NEXT to go to the next page - wouldn't that be

As for showing icons etc. we have added SRC="url" to the list of LINK tags
in the much hacked X-Mosaic, so that <LINK HREF="url.html" SRC="url.gif">
renders the url.gif in a title area that sits separately from the main
window. Clicking it traverses the HREF to "url.html".
The next (il)logical kluge would be LINK ALT...

Anyway - this is definitely a useful area - my hope is that future browsers
will support arbitrary link buttons, so that a document with several links
would sport a little button bar of its own:
[Mail Author] [Previous Pg] [Next Pg] [Start] [End] [Previous Ch] [Next Ch]
REV="made" REL="PREVIOUS" REL="NEXT" REL="START" etc etc...

Christian "Here's to more meta information..."