HTML and CSS Reference
2.7.4. Anchors Beyond
Hyperlinks are not limited to other HTML and XHTML documents. An-
chors let you point to nearly any type of document available over the
Internet, including other Internet services.
However, "let" and "enable" are two different things. Browsers can man-
age the various Internet services, such as FTP and Gopher, so that users
can download non-HTML documents. They don't yet fully or gracefully
Today, there are few standards for the many types and formats of mul-
timedia. Computer systems connected to the Web vary wildly in their
capabilities to display those sound and video formats. Except for some
graphics images, standard HTML/XHTML gives you no specific provision
for display of multimedia documents except the ability to reference one
in an anchor. The browser, which retrieves the multimedia document,
must activate a special helper application, download and execute an as-
sociated applet , or have a plug-in accessory installed to decode and dis-
play it for the user right within the document's display.
Although HTML and most web browsers currently avoid the confusion by
sidestepping it, that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't exploit multi-
media in your documents: just be aware of the limitations.