AtkHyperlinkImpl allows AtkObjects to refer to their associated AtkHyperlink instance, if one exists. AtkHyperlinkImpl differs from AtkHyperlink in that AtkHyperlinkImpl is an interface, whereas AtkHyperlink is a object type. The AtkHyperlinkImpl interface allows a client to query an AtkObject for the availability of an associated AtkHyperlink instance, and obtain that instance. It is thus particularly useful in cases where embedded content or inline content within a text object is present, since the embedding text object implements AtkHypertext and the inline/embedded objects are exposed as children which implement AtkHyperlinkImpl, in addition to their being obtainable via AtkHypertext:getLink followed by AtkHyperlink:getObject.
The AtkHyperlinkImpl interface should be supported by objects exposed within the hierarchy as children of an AtkHypertext container which correspond to "links" or embedded content within the text. HTML anchors are not, for instance, normally exposed this way, but embedded images and components which appear inline in the content of a text object are. The AtkHyperlinkIface interface allows a means of determining which children are hyperlinks in this sense of the word, and for obtaining their corresponding AtkHyperlink object, from which the embedding range, URI, etc. can be obtained.
To some extent this interface exists because, for historical reasons, AtkHyperlink was defined as an object type, not an interface. Thus, in order to interact with AtkObjects via AtkHyperlink semantics, a new interface was required.