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A means and apparatus for encoding, as an URL, an arbitrary block of text inside a webpage without the involvement of the content provider. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200711D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-26
Document File: 3 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This article describes a browser technology which allows users to create and share links to arbitrary areas of content within a web page. This is done through the creation of Enhanced Scope Links (ESLs) which encapsulates additional meta-data on the fragment identifier of the URL which can be used to relocate the target content within the page when navigating to the URL. The technology used to relocate target content is designed such that it is robust to changes in the content or structure of a web page making it useful in a dynamic web 2.0 environment.

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A means and apparatus for encoding , as an URL, an arbitrary block of text inside a webpage without the involvement of the content provider .

Currently, if a user wishes to make a link to web content they have two options. They may link to an entire webpage or to a defined anchor within the webpage supplied by the content provider. Both methods use a URI to address the content. In the case of a fragment identifier (anchor) being specified within the URI, the browser interprets this part of the URI and jumps to the rendered fragment which was tagged with the anchor.

    This is limiting since quite often the user would wish to link to a particular part of a web page to focus attention. In the case of using anchor tags the user is at the mercy of the content provider to have tagged the relevant sections of the page which is most likely not the case.

    Therefore there exists a need for a method by which a user can specify a link to an arbitrary section of a web page.

    Existing solutions to this problem include the 'awesome highlighter' approach This allows a user to tag a section of text in a web page when viewed through their portal. Once a tag has been made, a modified copy of the page is stored on their servers which can then later be consumed by people following a specific link. There are a number of problems with this approach. Firstly the solution requires a server to provide a service which enables tags to be created and shared. The server also has the overhead of storage of the copied webpages. From this, problems can arise from the tagging of confidential business information as it will require storing the information on a third party server. Lastly a major flaw is that people consuming the tagged page see a copy which is a snapshot of when it was tagged, as opposed to the latest version of the webpage. As an enterprise level solution the cost of running the service and the potential security problems make this solution not ideal.

    There is therefore still scope for a solution which does not have any hardware or service requirements, and one which enables a consumer to view the tag in a live web page.

    This disclosure describes a method and apparatus to enable users to create and share URI encoded links to arbitrary sections of a webpage without the need for additional hardware or services. The core idea is based around a browser technology which can interrogate a URI for a specially formed fragment identifier. The fragment identifier would contain information that could be used by the browser to identify the targeted area of the page.

    The browser can then locate and highlight the target area when the page is rendered.

    The Enhanced Scope Links (ESL) can be created using the browser through a simple highlight, right click and 'Copy ESL to Clipboard'. The ESL can then be pasted into a chat window, blog post, e-mail etc ready for consumption by others.

    The only requirement is that someone following th...