Hypertext Data Survey about the Term Hypertext

This is an attempt to sketch a framework for a concept.

One may approach an analysis of structure concepts of from various disciplines.
Computer and Information Sciences define Hypertext from a different angle than Literature, Film and Art.

The purpose is to get a sense of how the term is being used in order to identify what may indicate in the course its of usage.

My notes appear in [ ] brackets.

The operative term here is Hypertext, periodically extended to Hypermedia. It is interesting to observe that some have no difficulty extending text beyond written language and others feel more comfortable using the term media.

It seems that links are a primary element of hypertext as a concept but I question the primacy of physical links (yeah right, whatever that means) as a necessary element of hypertext as a concept. I would rather the concept of link, association, path, strand, or net be allowed to indicate a more complex notion than the function of an href= tag.

The bold and italicized terms represent my observations, or synthesis, of the data.
This is an experiment in using a hypertextual type of notation without necessarily using links.

[Before doing this dictionary game, I accumulated a site that provided such nice data oriented definitions that it has its own billing.]

[I began with Denis Howe's FoldocThe Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. I have a special admiration of this project. I do believe it is a Dictionary of the web. it even lists 1112 contributors by name. From Foldac one may follow a term on seemingly endless journey through the net.

Next I used OneLook Dictionaries referred to by Foldac under each definition. OneLook gives direct links to the given term in a number of online dictionaries.]


<hypertext> A term coined by Ted Nelson around 1965 for a collection of documents (or "nodes") containing cross-references or "links" which, with the aid of an interactive browser program, allow the reader to move easily from one document to another. See also hypermedia.
An extension of hypertext to include graphics, sound, video and other kinds of data. See also hypertext markup language, World-Wide Web.
<hypertext> A program which allows a person to read hypertext. The browser gives some means of viewing the contents of nodes (or "pages") and of navigating from one node to another. Netscape Navigator, NCSA Mosaic, Lynx, and W3 are examples for browsers for the World-Wide Web. They act as clients to remote web servers.
[from node to tree, i like trees. node > graph > 1. <mathematics> A collection of nodes and edges. See also connected graph, degree, directed graph, Moore bound, regular graph, tree. 2. <graphics> A visual representation of algebraic equations or data.

Related entries include:
anchor; annotation; authoring; back link; browser; card; database; Document Examiner; gateway; hyperlink; hypertext; Hypertext Markup Language; link; navigating; weblint; World-Wide Web; WWW browser; (Denis Howe)
[I have underlined the linked terms but not linked them here. The trail begins at


Word Search Results
[The authors' of each definition are named at the end of the quote in parenthesis.]


Hypertext: Electronic information which contains links to related information.
See Information and Computing. (Steve Bennett)

Definition for: hypertext - Text that has hyperlinks. When hypertext is viewed with an interactive browser, certain words appear as highlighted by underlining or color; clicking on a highlighted link leads to another location with more information about the subject. The term was invented by Ted Nelson.
Definition for: hypermedia The linking of multimedia to Web documents; the integration of text, images, sound, graphics, animation, and video through hyperlinks. (Mike McDonnell)

Hypertext: A type of text that allows embedded links to other documents. Clicking on or selecting a hypertext link displays another document or section of a document. Most World Wide Web documents contain hypertext. Hypermedia: The combination of hypertext and multimedia in an online document. (Steve Jenkins)

Hypertext: A system of "live" documents where a text file contains references to other documents that can be followed, thus linking documents to other related materials. The best known example is HTML. (Kevin Kadow)

Hypertext usually refers to any text available on the World Wide Web that contains links to other documents. The use of hypertext is a way of presenting information in which text, sounds, images, and actions are linked together in a way that allows you to jump around between them in whatever order you choose. (Learn the Net)
[emphasis on presentation and no need to limit the content and use "hypermedia" to include non-literal textual information.]

Hypertext: A special type of database system, invented by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, in which objects (text, pictures, music, programs, and so on) can be creatively linked to each other. When you select an object, you can see all the other objects that are linked to it. You can move from one object to another even though they might have very different forms. For example, while reading a document about Mozart, you might click on the phrase Violin Concerto in A Major, which could display the written score or perhaps even invoke a recording of the concerto. Clicking on the name Mozart might cause various illustrations of Mozart to appear on the screen. The icons that you select to view associated objects are called Hypertext links or buttons. Hypertext systems are particularly useful for organizing and browsing through large databases that consist of disparate types of information. There are several Hypertext systems available for Apple Macintosh computers and PCs that enable you to develop your own databases. Such systems are often called systems . HyperCard software from Apple Computer is the most famous.
[again, no need to limit the content and use "hypermedia" to include non-literal textual information. But Margolis provids a definition for hypermedia anyway.]
Hypermedia: An extension to hypertext that supports linking graphics, sound, and video elements in addition to text elements. The World Wide Web is a partial hypermedia system since is supports graphical hyperlinks and links to sound and video files. New hypermedia systems under development will allow objects in computer videos to be hyperlinked. (Philip Margolis)

Hypertext is the organization of information units into connected associations that a user can choose to make. An instance of such an association is called a link or hypertext link. (And the highlighted word "link" in the previous sentence is an example of a hypertext link.) Hypertext was the main concept that led to the invention of the World Wide Web, which is, after all, nothing more (or less) than an enormous amount of information content connected by an enormous number of hypertext links. The term was first used by Ted Nelson in describing his Xanadu system.
Also see hypermedia.
Hypermedia, a term derived from hypertext, extends the notion of the hypertext link to include links among any set of multimedia objects, including sound, motion video, and virtual reality. It can also connote a higher level of user/network interactivity than the interactivity already implicit in hypertext. ( Lowell Thing)

Hypertext is a nonsequential way of presenting information. Hypertext links information in a complex web of associations, powered by hyperlinks. Essentially a way of browsing information, hypertext is a way to describe how you learn from a well-designed CD-ROM encyclopedia or from the World Wide Web.
See also: hyperlink, hypermedia Dictionary Definition(1)
hypermedia One step ahead of hypertext, hypermedia integrates text, images, video, and sound into its documents. The elements of hypermedia documents are linked in an interactive way. The best way to describe hypermedia is by example--and the most common examples are the sound-laden pages of the World Wide Web See also: hyperlink, hypertext (Matt Lake)

Hypertext Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed. (Internet Literacy Consultants)
[use of the word document that assumes a document is a digital document.]

hypertext A form of text which includes visible links to other pages of text or media, accessible by clicking or selecting the links.
hypermedia Like hypertext, but includes other interlinking media, such as graphics, audio, video, and VRML.( Walt Howe)
[I will not go to the place where Walt Howe listed hypermedia due to the system glitch that I encountered when I went to that site that led to me having to restart my computer.]

hypertext: A system of writing and displaying text that enables the text to be linked in multiple ways, to be available at several levels of detail, and to contain links to related documents. The term was coined by Ted Nelson to refer to a nonlinear system of information browsing and retrieval that contains associative links to other related documents. See Also: hypermedia and hyperlink. The World Wide Web uses hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) to provide links to pages and multimedia files.
hypermedia The multimedia links on a Web page that lead to sound, graphics, video, or text resources. ( Vincent James and Erin Jansen)

Hypertext - A text format that allows for links from keywords in a document to other sections of the document or to other documents. (Joel Evans)

Hypermedia A combination of hypertext and multimedia that allows users move in a non-linear fashion through text, images, sounds, and other information. The runaway success of the WWW and browsers like Mosaic and Netscape is attributable to many interwoven factors, such as the essential simplicity of the "hypertext transfer protocol," the client - server paradigm, and the supporting infrastructure of the Internet. But the most obvious reason for this success is these browsers introduced many innovations that hid the arcana of the UNIX-flavored Internet under intuitive and attractive point-and-click graphical user interfaces. The rich resources distributed around the Internet became instantly available to all, computer geek or not, at the click of a mouse button. The basic paradigm exploited is "hypermedia" - multimedia capabilities such as graphic, sound, and movies, linked in a world-wide web of hypertext.
Hypertext A collection of documents joined by links so that users can read it in a variety of different orders. Hypermedia (or, more loosely, hypertext) documents are documents containing hyperlinks to other documents, anywhere on the WWW. A hyperlink is a segment of text (word or phrase), or an inline image (an image displayed as part of document) that refers to document (text, sound, image, movie) elsewhere on the World-Wide Web. (Linda Cole)

Hypertext: Text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by the reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed. (Syntax, Inc.)
[use of the word document that assumes a document is a digital document.]

Hypermedia: Linking mechanism that may include text and non-text elements such as video and sound, that users to use information non-linearly non-sequentially, by following links either hardwired dynamically added to a document. The term "hypermedia" was coined in the 1970s by Theodore "Tesd" Nelson to describe a new media form utilizing the power of computers to retrieve, and display information in all forms. The concept of hypermedia was first articulated by United States Presidential science advisor Dr. Vannevar Bush in a July 1945 article in the Atlantic Review entitled "As We May Think." Dr. Bush envisioned this "memory extension" system, which he called "Memex," in terms the photo-mechanical technologies available in 1940s. The World Wide Web is an example of a hypermedia system. Hypertext: Text containing links to other texts. In hypertext, textual material is interlinked, providing a system which can break down traditional subject classification, and allow individual users to pursue their own lines of inquiry. A core building block for the World Wide Web much interactive media. This document is an example of hypertext. Theodore "Ted" Nelson invented the concept in 1965 using the term "hypertext" to describe a system of non-sequential writing: "text that branches and allows choices to the reader." (Gemini Consulting)

Hypermedia: any of a variety of computer media—including text, graphics, video, sound, etc.—available through hypertext links on the Web
Hypertext: a method of organizing text, graphics, and other kinds of data for computing use that lets individual data elements point to one another; a nonlinear method of organizing information, especially text.
Hypertext Link in HTML, a hypertext link is defined by special markup that creates a user-selectable document element that can be selected to change the user’s focus from one document (or part of a document) to another.( St. Croix Medical)

Hypertext: A system in which documents contain links that allow readers to move between areas of documents, following subjects in a variety of paths (U S WEST)

hypermedia : A nonlinear way of presenting information that allows users to access related [?] works or images from a single computer screen. For example, a user reading an encyclopedia entry on jazz could also hear excerpts from recordings, read biographies of jazz artists, and view photos of them. Also known as "hypertext." (For definitions of other education terms, please see our Glossary of Terms.) (Catherine Hess)


hypertext Within WWW documents, the linking of words to other sections of text, pictures or sound is called hypertext. Hypertext is created using the HTML software language. Also used frequently in Help files. (Rane)

hypertext [Full Entry] A computer-based text retrieval system that enables the user to provide access to or gain information related to a particular text.( American Heritage Dictionary)


Your word could not be found. (Newbury House Dictionary of American English)
[note that this is an on-line dictionary]

hy•per•text Pronunciation: (hI'pur tekst"), [key] —n. a method of storing data through a computer program that allows a user to create and link fields of information at will and to retrieve data nonsequentially.
hy•per•me•di•a Pronunciation: (hI'pur-mE"dE-u), [key] —n.
(usually used with a singular v.) a system in which various forms of information, as data, text, graphics, video, and audio, are linked together by a hypertext program. (Information Please Almanac and Dictionary)

Nothing found for your word. (Phrase Finder - find a phrase related to a word)

The rhyming dictionary is either temporarily down or experiencing a lot of traffic.
( A semantic rhyming dictionary)


[Paul De Bra and Ben Shneiderman are working with a Definition of hypertext and hypermedia as database. De Bra says Shneiderman's definition clarifies some interesting points about hypertext:]

"A hypertext is a database. The information is not simply a bucket full of bytes, but is structured, and also large, much like the information stored in most databases. Although the structure of the information is different from that of the more common administrative databases, most current-generation database systems are capable of storing the information used in hypermedia systems. The typical user action is a jump (goto) between parts of the database. This is different from typical database use, which consists of asking queries that gather information elements from different parts of the database and present them together.

Although a (sufficiently sophisticated) database system can be used for storing and retrieving the information, the typical database user-interfaces must be replaced by new interfaces that support hypertext-interaction, which is usually called browsing.

[For more Paul De Bra http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/~debra/
and Ben Shneiderman http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/2L670/static/shneiderman.html

Definition of hypertext and http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/2L670/static/definition.html
hypermedia and database. http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/2L670/static/database.html
Though they take a "computer-science view of hypertext, and sometimes a database view or an object-oriented view."
They include other definitions of hypertext and a "stricter definition of hypertext"

 "The prefix (hyper) means "over" or "above," and early in the century was used in physics to describe the strange new kind of "space" that was being defined by Einstein's relativity theory - "hyperspace." Einstein's space is space seen in a new way, a new kind of space - hyperspace."


h y p e r t e x t h y p e r t e x t