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An other way of presenting articles

From: Cultimo <jeroen-g@bigfoot.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 98 10:32:15 -0000
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7717FF60AF0.AAA46B5@smtp02.wxs.nl>
Because of the discussion of the footnotes I was reminded of a project I 
once tried to give shape (but which because of to much other things to do 
failed to succeed). It had to do with creating the possibilities of 
making another form of hyperlinks. It might be of interest to this list 
(and could be a real item to discuss in view of the future of HTML if 
other people think it is interesting)

Here is the idea with a little explanation:

Electronic publishing of text has to be in short bits because the reader 
in the electronic age is more focused on the image and wants short pieces 
of information. Modem connection is slow and there is an overload of 
information found on the web - so everyone wants it fast, and wants only 
the things that he or she is looking for. But there are different kinds 
of readers that want different kinds of information about the same 

The web contains a lot of articles and most of them contain links to 
other relevant bits of information. Thats why the web looks like an 
encyclopedia - a German encyclopedia to be exact.

There are two different kinds of encyclopedia's: The British encyclopedia 
and the German type. The British encyclopedia has view - but very large 
articles in which the whole field of one toppic is covered. A German 
encyclopedia has many articles whith a little information. If you want to 
know more about a topic that has to do with the topic in the article just 
read you have to go somewhere else: The name of the other article is 
given - in electronic form it would be a hyperlink.

If you read an article on the web and if you want to know somethingmore 
about a topic that is hyperlinked from the document, you can go there. 
For me it is very important that it is the person that wrote the article 
/ made the page that has mad the connection with another piece of 
information. It is the human mind that structures the electronic 
possibillities of publishing on the internet.

In the beginning the hyperlink was simply a way of going from one page to 
another: one page disapears - another page comes on the screen. Since 
then - with Java and frames (and cgi / perl) - there are other 
possibilities to give shape to the flow of - writen - information.

One of the other possibilities is the pop-up screen (with java) and the 
possibility to put the other part of relevant information in a frame 
below, above or next to the article that is being read. But in both cases 
the text is not part of the text that is being read - it is on another 
level. Besides that: The java-popup screen hides away when you scroll 
down the article being read and the frame sometimes does not go well with 
the lay-out in mind.

But why is it not possible to contain the extra text within the document 
and with a mouse click it is being released and put between the lines of 
the article being read? Or why is it not possible to make a form in which 
a reader can choose what kinds of information someone wants (do you not 
just simply want the interview, but do you want the biografy of the 
person being interviewd as well together with the comment of the writer? 
Do you want the short or long version of the interview?). In both cases 
it is the writer that has to do the work for the reader - he has to make 
sure that no matter how tha article is being read, it has to form  a 
whole that is interesting enough for its readers. Only then there is 
digital - non linear writing: a text has to be a congruent whole in many 
ways (and it is possible to write that way as I experienced while writing 
non-linear stories that where plot driven and especially while writing a 
non linear story that was not plot driven but situational)

There is a pogram that creates something that lookes like text that can 
be put between the lines of the article being read - but it simply 
creates a lot of pages in which the text is ordered in different ways. 
That is not realy the thing I'm pointing at, though I worked with it for 
a short time.

This is not a question for a piece of information, but it is a statement: 
I think there is a need for a realy different way of handling text. The 
Hyperlink is nice, but there has to be more. 

Jeroen Goulooze
Received on Sunday, 14 June 1998 04:27:50 UTC

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