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Most things in the blender interface show info about what Python is used. enter image description here

Others do not:

enter image description here

How do I find out what is actually happening when I click these other buttons?

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First enable developer extras: Developer Extras

Then right click the button you want to inspect the operations for and select "Edit Source": Edit Source

You'll see a prompt for the relevant source file loaded into the text editor under the scripting tab:

Text Editor Prompt

You can load the source file there inside the text editor:

Text editor

The loaded file will have the cursor automatically placed on the line of code for the python object you selected "Edit Source" for.

Source line

In the case of the linked data block indicator for the material blocks, seems the below is the relevant code to hunt down in the source:

Relevant Source

If you select the save as menu option, you can find the directory for the python file loaded in your text editor.

Save as menu

You can copy and paste this path from the save as dialogue into a different coding environment like visual studio code to have access to better code search and "go to definition" toolsets. Save as dialogue

I will typically navigate to the container folder, and "SHIFT + Right Click" to get the "Open with Code" menu option. Open with code

You may want to open even higher directories than this for access to the operators and other relevant python. I recommend opening the Blender "3.xx" folder at the top level in code: Code

Now, from inside code you will now have access to definition links, and search of the entire codebase: Visual Studio Code

You can then search for the relevant keywords from the UI panel menu surrounding linking.

In the case of what the button does specifically for material linking, below is the relevant code. Found after a quick search for "slot.link"

Material Linking

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