Hypermedia application development
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CONTENTS:General resources | Hypertext functionality | The architecture of hypertext systems | Design re-use in hypermedia | Integrating hypertext with information retrieval | Developing hyper-news | Designing hypertext paths or tours | Domain Specific Languages | Identifying and describing web resources | Digital storytelling explained
A number of workshops on different aspects of Hypermedia were held in conjunction with ACM Hypertext '98, and their proceedings have been made available on different web sites.
4th Workshop on Open Hypermedia Systems: research on OHSs, addresses the issues of integrating hypermedia functionality into existing tools in the computing environment. Currently, OHSs are being deployed in various applications areas including digital libraries, computing support for large engineering enterprises, software development and education.
1st International Workshop on Hypermedia Development: includes an interesting paper on continuous usability testing of web documents.
2nd Workshop on Adaptive Hypertext and Hypermedia: workshop theme was that with the growing size, complexity and heterogeneity of current hypermedia systems, especially the World Wide Web, comes the need to provide more flexible mechanisms for delivering information to the user. That is, we require mechanisms which can modify documents on-the-fly in order to take the user's needs into account. Static hypertext documents suffer from an inability to be all things to all people; document and multimedia authors must write multiple documents for different users rather than a single document which can dynamically modify its content in order to address a particular user's knowledge or the context of delivery.
Online proceedings for the ACM's Hypertext '97 conference are available.
The Journal of Digital Information (JODI) have added two new papers to their site. Available to registered users (register free at the site), the papers are entitled:
- "A Pragmatics of Links", which won the Ted Nelson Newcomer Award, an award cosponsored by JoDI, at the recent ACM Hypertext 2000 conference in San Antonio.
- "Hypertext to Knowledge to Workflow" 28/07/00
The February 1999 issue of the Journal of Digital Information focuses on hypertext functionality (HTF) which can provide richer and more effective relationships and navigational support for applications. The editorial introduction claims that the web provides a platform for widespread HTF support, but few web applications (and even fewer off the web) currently take more than modest advantage of hypertext. New applications on the web, for example, rarely incorporate links beyond a home page and an index. Users of the future will come to expect HTF support, and developers will need the tools and experience to deliver. This issue covers design and integration of HTF into applications, and using HTF to improve organisational effectiveness.
"The architecture of hypertext systems" is a paper which explores various abstract conceptual models of hypertext systems, often referred to as "reference models".
A paper which discusses the use of design patterns in the process of building hypermedia applications is available on the web and also downloadable in pdf format. The use of design patterns has spread outside the object-oriented community, this paper highlights the importance for developing a pattern language for developers of hypermedia applications.
Information on the object-oriented hypermedia design model (OOHDM) has been published on the web.
A paper which explores automatic methods of link construction in hypertexts based on user feedback during browsing. The research suggests that link-mediated queries are more effective than user specified queries in retrieving relevant information. The paper is available in a variety of formats.
URL: companion paper (published in CHI 97) http://www.fxpal.xerox.com/abstracts/gol97.htm
A paper raising questions relating to the development of hypertext-based news services focuses on the significance of coherence and structuring - taken for granted in current print media - but central to problems associated with hypermedia-based information services. Further research information is also available.
URL: further research http://www.krs.hia.no/~martine/hjemme-3.htm
Hypertext paths, also called tours, provide a meta-structuring mechanism that allows the affiliation of elements from many different different hypertexts. The association of paths with hypertext is a concept as old as hypertext itself, however The Walden Paths' project is concentrating on Web-based path implementation. The basic metaphor is that of a network-based meta-document: a document whose elements are documents themselves. In addition the project is addressing the requirement for adding context to paths, perhaps not as important in the peer-to-peer environments present in earlier systems.
US developers, SpotOn Inc, styles itself as a "supplier of WebTour technology". According to the company Live WebTours provide the ability for sites to automatically extract a series of links from HTML or XML content and display them as an interactive "tour"- an online slideshow that displays each page in succession. 20/09/00
In a paper entitled: "Domain Specific Languages for ad hoc Distributed Applications", Matthew Fuchs postulates a framework to enable truely "ad hoc cooperative transactions on the Internet, combining human and computational entities together". His paper is based on the premise that the current framework makes a fundamental distinction between human agents (who use HTML) and computational agents, which use CORBA or COM. He proposes Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) as a means to allow all kinds of agents to "speak the same language". The approach adopts ideas (and syntax) from SGML/XML, especially the strict separation of syntax and semantics, so each agent in a collaboration is capable of applying a behavioral semantics appropriate to its role (buyer, seller, editor).
"Identifying and describing web resources", considers current approaches to describing and linking to web resources and their potential utility as the web develops. It provides a useful aide memoire to the the most widely applied methods and the interested parties that are driving their adoption - ranging from user communities and standards bodies to commercial implementors.
Hard copies of the report are available on request, alternatively it can be downloaded in Word, .pdf, or zip formats.
Web Review reports on the emerging concept of "digital storytelling". Coverage is based on a conference report, and includes a tutorial explaining the principles of the technique.
A further issue of Web Reviewis billed as a digital storytelling showcase and features seven original works along with notes concerning their authoring and "construction".
US company, Bedouin, Inc. is hoping to create a marketplace for the world of interactive fiction at a site it is developing with BLOSM.com called, The RedGrendel Market. The site is planning to specialise in "adventure games" that will be delivered to mobile devices. 21/04/00
URL: BLOSM.com http://www.blosm.com/
URL: The RedGrendel Market http://www.redgrendel.com/
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Last up-dated: 8 February 2018
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