The Web Design Group

Style guide for online hypertext

Document style: Sign all documents

An important aspect of information is the ability to trace its author. With hypertext this is easy to do - just add a link to the author's home page and include an e-mail address or form to which comments can be sent. The <ADDRESS> element is commonly used for this purpose.

Instead of the author's home page, there can also be a generic "About" document, containing copyright notices, disclaimers and the likes. This prevents cluttering up each document with long signatures. This reduces the information block to just something like Copyright &copy; 1996 by Name with the word "Copyright" a link to that About document.

It is also important to include contact information for comments, suggestions and the likes. This is usually done by adding a "mailto" URL with an e-mail address for this purpose. Always make sure you include the address itself in the text, so people can e-mail you with their favourite mail program. When the document is printed, for example, the link itself no longer works and the URL behind it is no longer visible.

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Web Design Group
Last updated: 30 Sep 1997
Copyright © 1996 - 2006. Arnoud Engelfriet.