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Class 1: Hypertext: text, tradition, technology

Summary | Class activity | Readings

In this class we look at the historical and conceptual basis for hypertext and some associated technologies. In the collaborative Activity, we examine various kinds of "texts" and discuss their properties and how those properties influence the possibilities for linking them - for including them in a hypertext resource.

  1. Hypertext terms and tools
  2. Hypertext definitions
  3. A brief history:
  4. Class collaborative activity 1

Activity 1

Hypertext has been invented (and perhaps destroyed!) several times, so we won't begin this course with definitions. Instead we consider several example texts and examine their properties.

  1. Survey the set of example texts. See some collective commentary

  2. Each group to choose 3 texts. Name/describe as many of their properties as you can (eg author, physical form, audience, distribution, purpose, information structure)

  3. For any 3 texts, describe how they could be interlinked in various ways. Describe in point form the nature of the links (eg informational role, direction/symmetry, how they could be implemented in practice)

  4. For any 3 texts, consider whether they already have hypertext properties (whatever you feel hypertext is at this stage). Describe these properties (perhaps in terms of the categories you used above).

Reading items for this class

4Landow, George P. 1998 Hypertext 2.0. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Ch 1 1-32 Hypertext: An Introduction, Ch 3 60-79 Visual Elements in Print Text
5Levinson, P. 1998. The soft edge: a natural history and future of the information revolution. London: RoutledgeCh 2 The first digital medium, Ch 13 Hypertext and author/reader inversions
8Mott, B., Rion, R., & Hergé. 1991. Tintin Illustrated Dictionary. Edinburgh: Harrapp 32, 140
-Ciolek, T.M. 2000 Global Networking: a Timeline www.ciolek.com/PAPERS/GLOBAL/early.html"; see esp 19th and 20th centuries

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