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Lessons In The Snow Lion's Garden

Lesson Three: Links in the Chain of Being

A web-page is an interactive document, which means that the person viewing it has some control over what they see. Web-pages sledom go far without being connected in some way to other web-pages. The Web is truly a web of interdependent being. But, the question arises: How to make a page interactive? How to connect to other pages on the web? This is done through the use of hypertext links. There are three forms of link:

1. Links that jump to another point on the same web-page.
2. Links that jump to another file on the same system.
3. Links that jump to another file or web-page on a different system or server.

Links that jump to another point on the same web-page are formed in two steps. First, you must insert a "target" at the point to which you want the link to jump. A target is written after the following form:

< a name="target_name" >



Having done this, you must then write a link which, when clicked, will cause the jump to take place. The link must be formed after this pattern:

< a href="#target_name_here" > hotlink_text < /a >


Links that jump to another file on the same system are at once simpler and more complex than those that jump within the same document. To link to a file on the same system (or server), you need only write after the following form:

< a href="path_and_filename" >link_text < /a >


If the file you wish to link to is in the same directory as the one from which you are "jumping," you need only write the filename. However, you may have files that are stored in different directories, and you may wish to link to such a file. If that is the case, you must specify the name of the directory. For instance, is you are linking to a file named "lion.html" that is in a directory named "noodges", then the link should read:

< a href = "noodges/lion.html" >link_text< /a >

We refer to the file being linked to as the "called file" and the file (web-page) from which it is being linked to as the "calling file". The relationship between called and calling files is very simple. You click on the link on the calling file, and the called file appears.
I invite you to try the following example. It was written out thus:

< a href = "flower_of_life.gif"> flower_of_life.gif < /a >


Simply point your cursor at the link and click on it. You need only hit the "back" button on your browser to return here.
flower_of_life.gif

As you can see, it is a very simple and reciprocal relationship.
Links that jump to another file or web-page on a different system or server is very similar to creating a link to a document on the same system. However, instead of using the relative path and filename of the called file, the URL (uniform resource locator, or "internet address") is used. The URL is the "address" of a web page. If you look above the browser screen, just below the tool-bar, you will see a long, narrow window with the word "Location:" next to it. The URL for this page appears there.
The form for writing such a link (using another one of my pages as an example) is as follows: < a href = "http://www.realm-of-shade.com/snowlion/index.html" > THE LAIR OF THE SNOW-LION < /a>
And it appears as follows (I invite you to test it):
LAIR OF THE SNOW-LION


As you can see, the use of the different forms of link can and will make your home-page an active member of this vast chain of being called the internet.
Hypertext links are an effective way to attract visitors to your site, and to keep your pages lively. Some web-masters have found links so useful and entertaining that they often create a separate file for links alone. This has advantages, in that it cuts down the size of the calling-file. However, some web-masters prefer to disperse their links throughout their website. You will, I have no doubt, find just the right approach for including hypertext links on your own page!


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