Read me first.

Recently, in a totally different context, I quoted a poem by Bertold Brecht. In that poem a simple change in the order of the words creates totally different meanings. Deep linking can do the same thing, which is one of the reasons people object to it. Being quoted is one thing, being quoted out of context is another. Since 1990 Tim Berners-Lee, the person credited with inventing the World Wide Web, has been making notes for himself on Design Issues: Architectural and philosophical points. In 1998 he posted these to the web, writing that he has used the web:
to place opionions and explanations which I have needed to express, and have found it useful to be able to express them later to others.
One of these pages is on the subject of: Links and Law: Myths. Among other things, Berners-Lee notes that:

We cannot regard anyone as having the "right not to be referred to" without completely pulling the rug out from under free speech.
But what is perhaps most interesting about this page is a short linked note just below the title:
See Links and Law before reading this.
I admit that I found these documents out of context and read them in that way. I didn't follow his instructions, and instead read Links and Law only after reading Myths. Frankly, I liked it that way, and didn't feel particularly guilty about changing the order. That was my decision, and I can live with it. But it's perhaps something else to tell others about these pages and not lead them to them in their proper, or at least intended order. But I don't feel very guilty about that either. Judging from what he writes on the subject, I doubt that Tim Berners-Lee would be particularly upset.

Go to: How Deep is My Linking?