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Re: External Link Icons

for

From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Sep 27, 2007 4:20PM


John E. Brandt wrote:

> I am not sure I have seen this issue discussed here, but perhaps it
> has and someone can send me to an archive or other location.

I'm pretty sure you can find past discussions on flagging external links, in
the list archive, and on other discussion forums.

> In any case, what is the consensus of opinion on the use of, what I am
> calling, External Link Icons?

Who cares about consensus? Consensus was once that everyone knew that the
earth is flat.

The crucial question is: Does it benefit the users, or the purpose of a
site, to indicate "external" links as external, for some definition of
"external"? The correct answer is: almost never. Such flagging is just a
fixed idea of designers and policy makers who don't understand that linking
between sites is just normal and part of the way the Web works.

> What is the current thinking on the use of this technique?

The first question should not be about the technique but about the very idea
of flagging links as external.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/