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An autolink is a hyperlink added automatically to a hypermedia document, after it has been authored or published. Segments of the hypermedia are identified through a process of pattern matching. For example in hypertext, the software could recognise textual patterns for street addresses, phone numbers, ISBNs, or URLs.
In a distributed hypermedia system, such as the World Wide Web, autolinking can be carried out by client or server software. For example, a web server could add links to a web page as it sends it to a web browser. A browser can also add links to a page after it has received it from the server.
AutoLink is a feature of the Google Toolbar. Users can convert street addresses, ISBNs in a web page in their browser to links by clicking a button on Google Toolbar. The links direct the users to Google Maps for street addresses and Amazon.com for book information.
Since introduced in February 2005, there has been a lot of controversy about this feature. Some webmasters expressed their concerns over AutoLink feature claiming that Google had no rights to modify their webpages or to direct the users to a commercial website (i.e. Amazon).
This caused Barnes & Noble, a competitor of Amazon, to link all ISBN's on their site back to themselves to prevent people clicking them to take them to their competitor.
Trac Wiki Engine
Trac is a web application for issue tracking in software development. It has a wiki engine which is used for all text and documentation in the system. This includes not only wiki pages but also tickets and check-in log messages. These pieces of text have AutoLinks created, for example the text ticket:1 links to ticket 1. This is an example of server-side AutoLinking.
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