Links Bar should not contain `First' and `Last' links



UI Design
16 years ago
9 years ago


(Reporter: Matthew Paul Thomas, Assigned: Blake Ross)


Mac System 8.5

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)





16 years ago
The `First' and `Last' links in the Links Bar should be removed. Only a tiny
minority of Web pages have related `First' and `Last' pages which would be
useful to navigate to. Of those few pages, for a considerable proportion of them
`Up' and `First' would do exactly the same thing. (The obvious example is
LaTeX2HTML-processed documents where the table of contents has a previous/next
relationship with the first page of the first chapter.)


16 years ago
Blocks: 103053
Blocks: 103469
ccing the usual suspects

Comment 2

16 years ago
One goal of implementing a LINK UI is to promote LINK usage.  Only a tiny
minority of Web pages use LINK at all.  We can't base much on the few sites that
use it, especially when no mainstream browser has yet to provide a UI and
therefore almost no page authors even know LINK exists or what it's for.  This
is compounded by the overly vague description of LINK types provided by the W3C.

Make the assumption that given a UI containing First and Last, authors will use
them.  Then change the debate to whether First and Last links are useful enough
to warrant being in the UI in the first place.

I'm on the fence about leaving them out.  I think they're only marginally
useful.  Removing them would save space and simplify the UI.

Comment 3

16 years ago
I know a place they work; Bugzilla; and they work great for bugzilla which uses
them.. I'd say leave them in.. the arguement is really a chicken and egg problem.  

Comment 4

16 years ago
I can think of about a hundreds of times I could of used this kinda
functionality if it was available to the user.  There are many, many, multiple
page articles that get written for product reviews/previews/editorials on major
websites like,,; I
could go on with a list of all the hardware sites out there.  If they used these
first/last and table of contents, which many have functionality built into their
articles now.. having GUI for is nice to navigate articles.  I hate sometimes I
have to find the links or the Table of contents bar to get to the page I want to
look at. If I click a GUI feature I know where I can get to that information
everytime.  Its very helpful, again to say that it should be removed is a bad
idea, if you dont give people functionality it wont be used, hense the chicken
and egg problem, and someone has to start, Mozilla Did that!

Comment 5

16 years ago
and to say to get rid of them is saying we'd like to give the users a half ass
version of full functionality because we dont think you use it often enough,
when no one article/webmaster knows that these features exist and may use them
in the future, really doesn't make sense at all.

Comment 6

16 years ago
for a program, I know many people haven't heard of, I think they should update
it, how about that? drop 100% support for web users because 1 program conflicts
for ~0.5% of users? [dont know what kinda of numbers you are talking about,
taking a wild guess]  where are these pages being used and for what content
So the have an algorithm that conflicts with webstandards, like that hasn't been
done before.

Comment 7

16 years ago
> One goal of implementing a LINK UI is to promote LINK usage.

Absolutely. So it's important that we give prominent access only to the LINKs
which are most likely to be useful, and not a `Last' link for which the only
relevant destination will usually be <>.

> We can't base much on the few sites that use it ...

Oh, I'm not. :-) I'm basing it on the Web as a whole, where a minority of Web
pages are part of a sequence. For those that are, `Last' is hardly useful at
all, and `First' is often the same as `Up' (as it is on and, for example). `Site Home', `Up', `Previous', and `Next' need to be
prominent, but `First' and `Last' do not.

If makes a coherent comment, I'll respond to it.

Comment 8

16 years ago
Matt, if you look at the articles written, many have a Last Page (conclusion or
whatever).  Last can be useful here.  As I frequently go the lastpage of article
first.  Many of those conclusion pages go back to the index pages (or TOC type)
. Some conclusion pages go back to the first page.  Up which would be like going
back one page in an article (not the back button, which maybe pulls from the
cache and not reload like the Previous button, I still cant your reasoning here
for removing last.   

Hardware and features drive software content. If you build it, they will come! 

 Up would be used differently, so its either to (_top) so we should use it if
the _top element?   I do see the need to provide functionality that will be used
consistently across the web for a UI just like navigator buttons like forward
and back is used in the browser itself.  If that is your goal here, I fail to
see what would you do to replace it, or make it better than by just saying
taking it out. 'last' would use the last article page.  So 'first' should
use the first article page.. and 'up'/'down' should be to the top/bottom of the
page, respectively.  Again, I think it makes perfect sense.  

Just because you dont like to go to the last page and read it first dont mean
other people wont.

Comment 9

16 years ago
remember, the content that is used for first, last and Up, has a url for
whatever page the website author wants to add to it and would most likely be
based off the TOC population of the article, not just some arbitrary page that
the links bar make up on its own.
so you are looking at this removal like a media player or web browser buttons
which neither have front, first, or last, end buttons.. just play/reload and
stop/stop, prev/back and next/forward.. hmm. interesting.. but that doesn't help
for long lists in the case of bugzilla, 10+ page articles.. where many articles
I've come across I have to link thru each one because they dont have a TOC or
last page link, some times we need this functionality before we go insane from
having to load so many pages on a slow dialup connection.  Last would really
help here.
mpt, thanks for clarifying.

As cuz wrote, hardware review articles is a good example of using a Last link. 
I often skip to the last page, which is usually the Conclusion where they
summarize the results of a benchmark, of give their rating on a product, etc..

Most other news articles are written in inverted pyramid style: tell the story
briefly, retell the story in more depth, retell it yet again in more depth, end.
 I'm doubt that given this predominant style, there's much reason to skip to the
last page, which might not make sense without the context of the previous pages.

Moving on to a PowerPointish slideshow presentation, First is useful to
"restart" the presentation.  I don't know how often people "skip to the end".  I
understand what your saying about "Up" being used to go to the beginning, mpt,
but I don't think it corresponds well to the user's mental model or prior
experience with similar navigation widgets.  IOW, if I want to go to the
beginning of a series, "Up" isn't the navigation direction that comes to mind
[1], more like First, Start, or Beginning.  I'm not convinced that we should
recommend that authors use Up as a synonym for First.  There's also a nice
symetry to a compound widget that goes: "<<  <   >  >>" for navigating along a
series of pages.

In threaded discussions, with a page per comment, Last would be useful to skip
to the most recent comment (assuming forward chronological ordering of
comments).  This can be generalized to any series of pages that follow a
chronological ordering.  There may even be enough examples of this to offset the
use cases where First makes sense, but Last doesn't.

That said, Previous/Next is still an order of magnitude more useful than
First/Last.  I'm leaning towards keeping First/Last, but I concede that it
doesn't ruin the toolbar to take them out.

[1] actually, the more I think about it, I wonder if "Up" is an appropriate
label.  Programmers are used to visualizing hierarchical structures.  Most
everyone else isn't.  What does "Up" convey to the average person?  Sorry,
rhetorical question, since this is out of scope for this bug ;)
Just to chime in here: I think we should leave them in. Several uses for them
have already been proposed. It's not like we are strapped for space.

I vote for keeping them in too. please resolve this as a wontfix
here is what I wanna highlight here from Tim from bug 103436:

Top: is mostly for "Site homepage or topmost page" - change of link name would
be useful.

Up: up one directory or menu level (used in ftp here is good) "One level up from
this page"

I have ideas in mind that could use these things to a degree that is way beyond
what you see for its usage today.
or possibly add 'site home' and leave in top, again discussion for Top we'll
leave  for bug 103436.

I notice you say powerpoint, I've seen these on the web too.  Intel frequently
uses powerpoint slides with buttons to move prev/forward and next/back, first
and last in their browsing pages for this... 

Another thing that comes to mind is uses previous and next
for viewing the images in seperate browser window that are related to the
articles they write.  I've seen this on other similar sites.

-so there is definetely a need for these.

Now if Mozilla doesn't provide a solution, people start making their own,
inventing new ways to do things that cannot be done say with a UI.  I'm saying
basically saying that clearly websites have expressed their need for such UI and
because no one has provided that, they have had to produce their own solutions.
 Which then usually leads to a major co.. to create that product for end-users.
 Its called innovation.  

Comment 18

16 years ago
Hm, I've used [first] and [last] to refer to the first and last pages of a
hierarchical level, up to refer to the first page of the next level above, and
next to refer to the next absolute page (not just in a section).  So given a
document with 3.2.1-3.2.8, from 3.2.6, to get to 3.2.7, one clicks next, to get
to 3.2.8, one clicks last, to get to 3.2, one clicks up, to get to 3.2.1, one
clicks first. To get to 3.3 from 3.2.8, one clicks next; last is disabled on
3.2.8.  On a purely linear document (p. 1, p. 2, etc.), there should be no [up].

I take it this was not the intended use of [last]?  
QA Contact: sairuh → claudius

Comment 19

16 years ago
In section 4e of :

Given a set of documents, it is possible and often desirable to specify 
linear sequences to navigate through the set.  A book, for example, is 
often organized as a linear sequence.  With sequence links in each 
document, a user agent can step through or gather an entire book 

And it goes on to describe behavior for first previous next last.

Although this draft expired in 1996, there has not been any replacement 
for it and "it is still of interest to this [IETF WebDAV] working group."

We have many, many features in Mozilla that are only supported by a 
small minority of websites (P3P, XSLT, ...).  'Lack of use' is not a valid 
reason to remove 'First' and 'Last', especially since almost zero websites 
use <link> for navigation.

The comments above demonstrate several possible uses for 'First' and 
'Last'.  I see no reason not to mark this WONTFIX.  Any further comments 

Comment 20

16 years ago
one more vote for wontfix (sorry it's late, I thought I'd already commented but
apparently not).

"up" and "top" have an entirely different role than "first". I frequently write
pages that page through a list of items (similarly to bugzilla buglists). "up"
goes to the parent page (outside of the list entirely). "top" goes to the site
homepage. "first", "last", "next" and "previous" all refer to the sequence of
pages in the list. I know of many, many sites written by my company that use
this method, dating back over two years (and only one of them at this point uses
<link>). But every single one of them has "first" and "last" as well as "next"
and "previous".
Last Resolved: 16 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX


Comment 22

16 years ago
um, Gerv, you might want to check which account you are logged in as.
No longer blocks: 103469

Comment 23

14 years ago
Actually, 'first' and 'last' are not defined in HTML4.1. There is only a
'start'. But I don't mind if these are just some Mozilla extensions. They are
useful. But what is the semantic difference between first and start???

Anyway, first and last are invaluable for e.g. novels, which are a linear
sequence of pages. There is a first and a past page. The up, top, index etc. are
used for some toplevel page or index. I have made such site and have used almost
all the keywords w3c defined (even chapter, glossary, etc.). And it works very
well in Moz.
Product: Core → Mozilla Application Suite


9 years ago
Component: XP Apps: GUI Features → UI Design
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