linking to anchor near bottom of a page
. . . .Within my website (so I control all pages) I often make anchor-links from one page (call it currentpage.htm) to an anchor-link in another page (newpage.htm). Imagine that newpage.htm has two anchor-locations, one near the page-beginning (#high) and one near the page-end (#low).
. . . .There is a problem when linking to newpage.htm#low (or an inside-the-page link to #low) because the page-end goes to the bottom of the browser window, and the location (#low) appears somewhere in the vertical middle of the browser window, so it's difficult for a user to know where they should begin reading, and they get confused.
. . . .A low-tech solution is to "make the page longer" by adding space to the page-bottom with a series of <p> </p>, or with a tall blank spacer-gif. But this implies something false, it tricks a user into thinking the page is longer than it is, so they may think "this page is too long, I don't want to read that much" and they go away, or they "skim" when they could read more slowly.
. . . .So is there a way to say, within newpage.htm, "make the page longer by adding a blank spacer-gif to the page-end when an incoming link goes to newpage.htm#low" but to have this be temporary, so when newpage.htm is opened the next time normally (with a link to newpage.htm or to newpage.htm#high) the spacer-gif is gone?
is current browser behavior rational?
My practical problem is solved (thanks!) but I’m still curious about these questions from 4 days ago:
. . Is there any technical reason for not making the place where a reader should be -- at an anchor-location, or the place they were (bottom of the previous window) before a "page down" scroll -- always appear at the top of a browser window?
. . Does “not doing this” provide some practical benefits for a reader? (with the rational browser behavior I’m describing, a reader would know “the page has ended” when they see nothing but white space below a certain point, so this white space wouldn’t be a disadvantage)
. . If the answers are “no” and “no” -- as it seems to me, but maybe I'm just not seeing the reason -- then should we say “yes” when we ask “Is the current browser behavior due to an unwise decision about browser design?” (evidently a decision was made sometime in the distant past, and has continued since then due to inertia)
P.S. If others have no interest in this, I won’t ask again, I'll just continue to wonder and that will be OK.