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Humanist Archives: Feb. 24, 2020, 10:07 a.m. Humanist 33.627 - in praise of the hyperlink

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 627.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

    [1]    From: maurizio lana 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.625: in praise of the hyperlink (128)

    [2]    From: cohen.izzy@gmail.com
           Subject: an editor's plea => using URL links (137)

        Date: 2020-02-23 18:54:08+00:00
        From: maurizio lana 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.625: in praise of the hyperlink

hi willard,

as far as i can understand, the hyperlink is both a sibling of the
footnote and a subset of its scopes.
sibling: both are intended to declare the source of authority of a
statement (in this sense the hyperlink is a confirmatory link - much
rare are different uses of the hyperlink)
subset: the footnote can develop a complex argumentation about what
allows its author to state what s/he stated; the hyperlink is much more
limited, it silently says that a given destination supports a statement.

but writing in the digital world implies for me the act of giving your
references wherever is possible: this is the very nature of writing in
the digital world where everything is connected and
1) why should we disconnect our writing from the world where we place it?
2) the connections form our writing towards their sources in the digital
world allow the reader to explore and assess the authoritativeness of
what we write (and of ourselves as authors of the writing).

so i agree that is somehow disruptive for our reading habits but i
really need to find hyperlinks where someone states something.


Il 23/02/20 05:48, Humanist ha scritto:
>                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 625.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                     Hosted by King's Digital Lab
>                         www.dhhumanist.org
>                  Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>          Date: 2020-02-23 01:43:28+00:00
>          From: Henry Schaffer 
>          Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.624: an editor's plea
> Willard,
>    Having dabbled in the area of computer communications from well before
> the WWW/URL, I'll take a different approach and come to a different
> conclusion. While I agree with you regarding the value of footnotes in
> assisting understanding of the text. I beg you to reconsider the
> "hyperlink" as being a modern and improved instantiation of the footnote
> (and also the endnote.) The technological implementation is, of course,
> different, using "bluing and underscoring" instead of the revered
> superscript, but that makes it IMHO easier to notice and use. Of course,
> it's possible to merge the two approaches, using superscripts as
> hyperlinks, and our (well, my) beloved Wikipedia does that.
>    I'll end by giving my opinion that the hyperlink is worth using, and that
> the choice between the blued/underlined and superscript format is a trivial
> matter of taste.
> --henry schaffer
> On Sat, Feb 22, 2020 at 3:20 AM Humanist  wrote:
>>                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 624.
>>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>>                     Hosted by King's Digital Lab
>>                         www.dhhumanist.org
>>                  Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>>          Date: 2020-02-21 05:39:14+00:00
>>          From: Willard McCarty 
>>          Subject: an editor's plea
>> Dear colleagues,
>> My editorial preferences doubtless began to be formed when I was editor
>> of my high school newspaper and learned principles for the composition
>> of a printed newspaper page from an experienced hand. How to attract the
>> eye and then lead it from one story to another was the main lesson, I
>> recall. This happened in the late 1950s. So it is also doubtless that
>> these are old principles, which I persist in carrying over into the
>> digital medium of Humanist. In other words, I am prepared to be told
>> that the following is Old Hat.
>> BUT: it does seem clear as day or a bell that someone who writes a note
>> and actually wants to communicate by means of it will not be surprised
>> by the meta-principle that all impediments to an untroubled reading
>> should be avoided wherever possible. (Medieval manuscript annotation is
>> another story; here is about readers in the tradition loudly proclaimed
>> by Thomas Sprat in the 17th Century.) One massive impediment to
>> untroubled prose is the URL helpful in the intention, I have no doubt,
>> that the writer inserts into the text so that the reader may be better
>> informed. But informed about what, exactly, and why of interest, is
>> impeded if not obscured by the URL's violation of the syntax of the
>> sentence it interrupts. This is why the footnote was invented, I
>> suppose: to be helpful but not derail reading.
>> Yes, some notes to Humanist originate in software that embeds each URL
>> in a hidden link -- you know, bluing and underscoring the text it
>> 'footnotes' -- a nightmare of design, it seems to me. But in any case,
>> Humanist's software is graphically quiet by design, so that technique
>> does not work.
>> Thus, in conclusion, my editor's ink-stained plea to send continuous
>> rather than URL'd prose to Humanist, to consider how many URLs are
>> actually needed and where they would best be placed with the reader in
>> mind.
>> Many thanks, indeed, many!
>> Yours,
>> WM
>> --
>> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
>> Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
>> London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
>> (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

Maurizio Lana
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
Università del Piemonte Orientale
piazza Roma 36 - 13100 Vercelli
tel. +39 347 7370925

        Date: 2020-02-23 12:39:04+00:00
        From: cohen.izzy@gmail.com
        Subject: an editor's plea => using URL links

I'm a bit older than Willard McCarty because I graduated high school in
1954. I am currently an editor of academic publications. However, I
enthusiastically agree with Henry Schaffer regarding the usage of URL links.

There are two disadvantages when using these links. They are of no value if
1 - the reader cannot access the Internet for any reason.
2 - the reader only has a printed text unless the URL is displayed and is

I recently edited a treatise about Existentialism. It desperately needed a
glossary. At an average word count of 30 words per entry, its 600 item
glossary would add about 18,000 words to that book. The innovative Glossary
that I produced only required about 3 words per entry. That's 10% of the
text for a standard glossary.

Every "description" is a unique tinyURL. Each tinyURL consists of a
standard 20-character string https://tinyurl.com/  plus 7 but sometimes 8
letters & numbers. It is not necessary to enter https://  Keying in the
easily memorized tinyurl.com/ plus the 7 or 8 character identifier listed
in the glossary is sufficient. So the effort required to use this glossary 
when reading the printed text is about the same as calling a telephone number 
that is not already stored in your cellphone. When reading electronic text, 
only a Ctrl+click or finger-tap is required.

The advantages of this method are that it provides *much* more information
than can be contained in a 30-word description. And it is easier and faster
than finding equivalent information in a dictionary, encyclopedia or

The first 20 entries in this glossary look like this. Try one.

(What looks like a lowercase L is always the number 1.)

*A - L*

*tinyurl.com/ (http://tinyurl.com/)*

*M - Z*

*tinyurl.com/ (http://tinyurl.com/)*

*ad hoc* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hoc)


*madeleine* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_(cake))


*Adam-Kadmon* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Kadmon)


*madrigalli* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrigal)*. *madrigals


Agamemnon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agamemnon)


maieutic (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maieutic), maieutically


Akatriel yah (https://pantheon.org/articles/a/akatriel-yah.html)


*Malchut* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malkuth)


*Akudim* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akudim)


*mandala* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala)




Manichean (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manichaeism)


amorphic (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/amorphic)




*ananke* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananke)


Medusas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa)


*anthropos* (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropos)


meiosis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiosis)


*arbiter elegantiarum*


*melange* (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/melange)


To create tinyURLs, go to this web page: https://tinyurl.com/

Posted by
Israel "Izzy" Cohen

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