Text Menu

Hypertextual structure

This site consists of three main layers of detail, rather like zooming in on the properties:

  • An overall picture of anchor properties: The paper itself (which really only has 6 content nodes. Honest.)
  • The underlying discussion: A summary and listing of interesting uses of each type of anchor property.
  • A short commentary: We describe each work surveyed in general.

We contend that this is not truly a heirarchical site, but rather one of conclusions that build on each other and influence each other. The various levels of detail have extensive links to other levels of detail.

Standard design

We chose a relatively simple design format to play within the reader's expectations. As this is a scholarly article providing a taxonomy of anchor aesthetics, we did not want to distract the reader from our primary examples. As this is a densely linked paper, we let visited links subside in the background as black, rather than purple. We chose arbitrary colors to distinguish between properties as an aid to navigation. The anchor repetition is deliberate to elicit reader thought on reactions to the same anchors in different formats (and to provide accessible links for Jaws readers). It would be interesting to include a section on how readers react to different types of links in this text itself, but we will leave that exercise for another day.


The embedded links on these pages would qualify this as a densely linked site, and we may well run the risk of scattered readers who chose to follow other links before finishing a node. This reflects one of the main findings in this paper that anchor properties are deeply connected.

Copyrights and archiving

We have grappled with the age-old problem of referring people to sites that are no longer there, and solved it inelegantly: by providing a live link and wherever possible and where permission was obtained, a screenshot. We originally cached sites, but this posed a copyright problem: while it is fair use to quote a few lines, is capturing an entire work--even in an archived and non-shared format fair use?


Most commercial websites and many aesthetic works are not dated, and even the "last updated" does not explain which part of the site was created at what time. Therefore, these are difficult to cite in an APA or MLA style. Where there is a last updated mentioned, we use that date. Otherwise, the date defaults to 2004, when we visited the site. Creative works are dated sometimes, or we can tell from when a work debuted in a web journal or appeared in a contest or was mentioned. Even this is troublesome, as often creative works on the web are continually updated as well.

Anchor typing

An anchor type would be nice to have here, if only to indicate whether we are taking the reader to a commentary on a website or to the real site. In our paper, page links are underlined and popup links are not, but this is hardly a true taxonomic distinction--more of a functional argument distinction. As Randy Trigg noted:

"We find another difference between normal and commentary links. Almost invariably, commentary links serve as side links rather than train of thought links. (Of course readers can later build paths which include commentary nodes, but this will generally not be the case for the original author's intended path.) On the other hand, normal links tend to be along the train of thought with the notable exceptions of citations and certain special cases of other normal links (see Section 4.4). [118, Section 4.1] "

If HTML provided an easy way to differentiate these links as the Guide system does with its cursors, we might have employed that.

Denotative links

We found that, as with most taxonomic discussions of properties, anchor properties are deeply intertwingled. Thus throughout this paper, we consciously linked discussions through denotative links, mentioning and linking the other relevant anchor properties.