Shadows In The Cave: hypertext transformations


  • Mark Bernstein Eastgate Systems, Inc.


It is generally assumed that node-and-link hypertexts are well understood. The implicit links that spatial hypertext creates by proximity and regularity have been less discussed, and that silence suggests that we believe them also to be adequately described, and that opportunities for innovation and research primarily lie in newer and less explored areas. Yet fairly straightforward and conventional extensions of familiar hypertext links and spatial hypertexts reveal unexpected kinds of connection structure that is implicit (and unrepresented) in the interface and tacit (and unstudied) in the literature. Details of implementation and context can create opportunities for unexpected forms of hypertextual relations that seem quite as unfamiliar as systems intentionally designed for their novelty.