You may occasionally notice that the links that you click on deliver you partway down a webpage to a highlighted piece of text.
This is the result of Google Text Fragments — a feature introduced to Chrome (and available as a Firefox extension) that allows authors to link to a specific piece of text on a webpage.
Link partway down page
Suppose you wanted to quote to a section partway down a page:
By using the Chrome/Firefox plugin, an author can construct a link to that specific point of the page.
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Village_pump_(idea_lab)#:~:text=Many%20people%20do%20 not%20trust%20quotations%20in%20the%20media%20because%20they%20are%20 suspicious%20that%20the%20quote%20may%20be%20taken%20out%20of%20 context%20or%20fabricated."> Many people do not trust quotations in the media because they are suspicious that the quote may be taken out of context or fabricated. </a>
Many people do not trust quotations in the media because they are suspicious that the quote may be taken out of context or fabricated.
If you click on the above link in Chrome, it will take you to the point in the page where the selected link text is found and highlight the text:
If the reader’s browser does not support text fragments, the reader’s browser will display a normal page, and not scroll down and highlight the term.
Draft Status but Useful Concept?
Even though it is a standard feature on Chrome, Text Fragments is not formally approved by a standards body (W3C draft) and it requires a plugin for Firefox. It has. the support of Google, but not all Google projects have staying power.
I’m aware that Brave has raised some privacy concerns and one shouldn’t assume that other browser makers will adopt it. My main interest is in seeing what do people think of the feature in principle?
Use in Citation Systems
If copyright issues hamper pulling in greater context, would a feature like Text Fragments be an attractive way to better link the citation with its source?
- Ars Technica article
- Chrome plugin
- W3C draft
- Privacy Concern raised by Brave security researcher Peter Snyder