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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition by Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy

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Chapter 6. Links and Webs

Up to this point, we’ve dealt with HTML and XHTML documents as standalone entities, concentrating on the language elements you use for structure and to format your work. The true power of these markup languages, however, lies in their ability to join collections of documents together into a full library of information and to link your library of documents with other collections around the world. Just as readers have considerable control over how the document looks onscreen, with hyperlinks they also have control over the order of presentation as they navigate through your information. It’s the “HT” in HTML and XHTML — hypertext — and it’s the twist that spins the Web.

Hypertext Basics

A fundamental feature of hypertext is that you can hyperlink documents; you can point to another place inside the current document, inside another document in the local collection, or inside a document anywhere on the Internet. The documents become an intricately woven web of information. (Get the name analogy now?) The target document usually is somehow related to and enriches the source; the linking element in the source should convey that relationship to the reader.

Hyperlinks can be used for all kinds of effects. They can be used inside tables of contents and lists of topics. With a click of the mouse on their browser screen or a press of a key on their keyboard, readers select and automatically jump to a topic of interest in the same document or to another document located ...

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