Re: Seeking One-Button BackLink Browser

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 15 Sep 95 12:07:30 PDT

I wrote:
> Given that I'm looking at a page (call it page1), I want to push just
> one button, and get a page which lists pages which reference page1.
>Backlinks were a central feature of early "hypertext" visions. They
>would, for example, allow people to easily find criticism of pages.
>Imagine that people at the home page of the CIA, RJR Reynolds, etc., or
>at some high-profile Op-Ed article, could find responding critiques
>with just one button push!

Adam Jack replied:

The referring URL is available in the HTTP request for pages.
Many sites use it in CGI scripts to include it into the HTML
the provide. It is IMHO - given the current state of HTML - up
to the page creator to modify the page content. The browser
shouldn't be involved.

This is also logged. I have a script that scans the logs to see
who viewed my pages with what browsers - and where they came from.
... BTW - I form this scripts output into an HTML page which I
publish internally. I just need to click on the URLs to go
do exactly as you suggest. It is a lesson and a half.

You misunderstand. Yes, it's nice that a page author can see the URLs
which reference it, and that this author might modify their page to let
readers see these URLs. But I want to see these URLs for all pages,
even for pages where the author would rather I didn't see them. The
CIA and RJR aren't likely to make it easy to find criticism of
their pages.

Robin Hanson
818-683-9153 2433 Oswego St., Pasadena, CA 91107 FAX: 818-405-9841
818-395-4093 Div. Hum. & Soc. Sci. 228-77 Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125