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Re: Use of meaningful (and probably non-verbal) hyperlinks

David Prévot wrote:
> I raised an issue last week-end, while the DPN was already freezed, and
> got only one person on my "side", so I reverted my changes [287]. In
> fact, I think everybody focused on the "verb" part, and my poorly chosen
> example from W3C,

I blame the W3C tip-writer.

> so I'll try to make myself clearer in order to
> eventually evolve in another (hopefully better) way to link stuff from
> the web-based DPN (I think that the mail edition is better since there
> are no true hyperlinks).
> [287]http://svn.debian.org/viewsvn/publicity/dpn/en/2010/04/index.wml?r1=285&r2=287
> For example (I picked a short and easy one), in the just published DPN,
> we have :
> "Aurélien Jarno *reported* a bit about Debian's switch from GLIBC to
> I think that the hyperlink on *reported* is meaningless, and misguiding
> (why should I follow a link just called "reported", am I going to be
> reported somewhere?).

The meaning I tend to assume is being conveyed is that such a link
will lead to a location where the communicative event in question is
archived.  Links on non-informational verbs, such as "Aurélien Jarno
*lives* nearby", would be much less natural.
> The purpose of Aurélien's report is about the *Debian's switch from
> GLIBC to EGLIBC*, or at least the *switch from GLIBC to EGLIBC*, so I
> really believe that the hyperlink should rather be on this phrase.

That would make sense, though there's a slight semantic gap to be
bridged either way, since his report did not itself constitute a
"switch from GLIBC to EGLIBC".  Other kinds of post, such as for
instance "Aurélien Jarno asked whether GLIBC should be removed
from Squeeze", would be trickier.  It's also quite common for
secondary links to be contained within the material quoted.

Incidentally, I'm assuming there's an unspoken rule that where
possible we prefer short link anchors, so that the page is a sea of
normal text containing small islands of underlined blue clickability
rather than the reverse.  But none of those tips pages say anything
about this, so maybe it's just me.

> Eventually, in some not so easy cases, I think that linking on the name
> of the "reporter" (here *Aurélien Jarno*), should be far more meaningful
> that the usual past tense verb "reported" (usually "announced"), since
> the hyperlink will link to something about this person.

What you're implying is that in a certain web-centric sense, that
URL _is_ "Aurélien Jarno".  This works well enough for blogs, but
less well for mailinglists and so on.

> I'm well aware that the meaning of the total sentence is the best way to
> have a clue about what the hyperlink is about, but I sincerely believe
> that the hyperlink itself should better be meaningful if possible.

Absolutely.  And probably I should be asking around to see what
random strangers think instead of arguing for my own prejudices.

> P.-S.: Alexander proposed to eventually raised this sort of discussion
> to other more general lists, I think it could be fine, but why not
> starting around here, and if we have a consensus, try to raised the
> discussion to debian-www for example. Some people answered to the
> previous thread that was crossed-linked with debian-l10n-english, maybe
> we could do it again for this one in order to gather more opinion too.

(I've already been sucked in from d-l-e.)
JBR - and today's single word in West Greenlandic is:
"You simply cannot pretend not to be hearing all the time"

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