Here’s a chicken-and-egg problem for you. And you can be part of the egg. I’ll show you how in a minute.

I bet you’ve noticed that bajillions of websites have little links that say “next” and “previous”, right? Like previous page, previous item, previous whatever. And sometimes there’s “up”, too. As in “up” to the parent directory, “up” to the category containing this item, and so on. And every time you come upon a web page like that, you ask yourself, “so where is the link that takes me to the ‘next’ page?” Wouldn’t it be nice if that button was always in the same spot, preferably on your browser user interface?

You might be surprised to learn that a solution to this already exists. The HTML standard specifies the <link rel=”next”> and <link rel=”prev”> header tags. But how can you make them show up in your browser? Easy: Use the Link Widgets Firefox extension. By installing and using that, you’ve become part of the egg. Now the chicken is that more sites need to start using the <link rel=”…”> tags. There are already enough of them to make the extension worthwhile, for example Google, or any Drupal site (such as this one :) ), or anything generated by latex2html, which includes surprisingly large swaths of web documentation. But the more people have the UI to use these links, the more sites will include the markup, making the whole thing more and more useful over time.

And making the web more useful is not a bad thing, is it? ;)