You've Got Hypertext (16 Jul 2004)
"Next, let's ask what is different about hypertext? Is there really anything new to it? hypertext is basically clay and we have to mold it; that is what this workshop is all about: starting to mold that clay"
From Andries van Dam's keynote speech at the first hypertext workshop in 1987
This paper has looked at what future hypertext systems may be, by looking at what our understandings of hypertext have been, and how these definitions have gone beyond the limited click and link of the Web. We have also shown, however, that we encounter and create rich hypertexts daily not just in the Web, but in email as well, an application we use perhaps as much if not more than the Web. By reflecting on email-as-hypertext, we have also shown that the cost for implementing hypertext properties like transclusion and annotation can be remarkably low. One of our main points in establishing this relation between the Web and email as complementary hypertext models is to stake out a research direction for future everyday hypertext systems based on the semantic Web platform. We have shown that the semantic Web is a powerful platform for enabling globally the kinds of context support, association building and dynamic linking embodied locally in pre- and co-Web hypertext systems like Intermedia and Microcosm.
The semantic Web offers an opportunity to return to the research agenda initiated in these systems, but at a Web scale. We have also been keen to show, however, that Web scale should not mean constrained to the Web interaction paradigm of clinks. We have therefore also pointed to more current hypertext/semantic Web research in information exploration, writing, and e-science where the interaction breaks away from the Web clink and is more informed by the reflective interchange of email-as-hypertext for knowledge building. We have proposed Bloom's taxonomy as a criteria for evaluation of the success of such applications. We have also proposed that we should challenge our future everyday hypertexts by the question: do they allow us to move from simple regurgitation of facts to support synthesis and analysis of that information? If they do, we have suggested, then you've got hypertext.
Article URL: http://jodi.ecs.soton.ac.uk/Articles/v05/i01/schraefel/
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