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  1. #1
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    link to mid-page target without anchor

    Can I link to somewhere in someone else's Web page if it's not to the top of the page, the page doesn't have an anchor where I want it, and the page's owner probably isn't interested in taking time to help? I can't copy any large part of the destination page, given copyright law.

    If there's no general method, is there a way to link to a row in a table that does not use id attributes for rows or cells? The only way I can identify a row is by copying and matching the first instance of an "a" link, but for copyright reasons I'd want to copy only the very short string enclosed by the "a" tags and not the entire element with its attributes (short phrases are not copyrightable although copying many of them from one source would risk infringement).

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    You say "Can I link to somewhere" ... do you mean you want to use a PHP script to go into that page and grab a section of content?

    Or do you mean you want to actually navigate to their page and have your browser scroll to the spot you want?

    Pick a simple site like mine (catpin.com) and describe what you are trying to do ... if it's possible to use that as an example.

    I guess I'm just not understanding what you're trying to do.


  4. #3
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    I don't plan to use PHP now (maybe later), so the second is what I want: "to actually navigate to their page and have your browser scroll to the spot you want". Your page has no anchors, so suppose I want to link to the first paragraph that has the string "Bubble", so that my visitor's browser would scroll immediately to put that string into the top of my visitor's viewport. (On my platform, I can't see that string unless I scroll down manually.) Is there a way to cause automatic scrolling as if there was an anchor at that spot?

  5. #4
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I don't think it's possible. That doesn't mean it can't be done ... I just can't think of anything that would work.

    With PHP, it might be possible to pre-load someone's webpage, scrape it for key words, note line numbers and THEN, use javascripting to display and scroll to the line number calculated. There are a couple of issues with that ...
    1) Scraping someone's website is unethical, if not for copyrights, but because it burdens someone's site with unwanted use of bandwidth.
    2) Browsers already have search functions that highlight key words on a page. I'm not sure what the point would be for auto scrolling to a key word.


  6. #5
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    I didn't know any browsers had that capability. Search engines do and I suppose a user can induce their own browser to do it, but I want my website to produce the effect with regard to a third party's website in my visitor's browser, and I suppose that would be through auto-scrolling. If I can induce a user's browser to highlight a string of my choice, how? I know of the HTML5 mark element but is there a way to implement it on website pages I create as viewed in an HTML5-aware browser? The advantage of auto-scrolling over highlighting is for pages where the highlighted string would be below the fold, i.e., would be unseen without scrolling down.

    Doubly loading a page is, in my opinion, not unethical for bandwidth reasons; but it may or may not infringe copyright. The bandwidth-straining problem applies to situations like website A linking without attribution to an image on website B instead of using its own copy of that image, so that if website A attracts a lot of traffic then website B pays; or a search engine bot ignoring robots.txt and not only copying pages found but trying to find far more pages that don't exist thus consuming bandwidth (cuil.com used to do that before it went out of business). In this case, doubly loading would render the page more useful to a visitor; but even that might be solved by loading the page into a cache rather than into the viewport and then modifying the cache's contents by inserting an anchor and then displaying what's in the cache scrolled to the new anchor, but I don't know how to program that and I'd want to think about copyright.

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    You don't necessarily need an anchor. If there's an ID on the page where you need it, you can use it.

    For example, if they have code like this:
    Code:
    <div id="middle-of-the-page">Some stuff</div>
    You can link to it like this:
    Code:
    <a href="external-page-here.html#middle-of-the-page">Some descriptive text.</a>
    You may also be able to copy "a large portion" if you link ot the original source and/or are using it for purposes of criticism, but that's a grey area.
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