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Lab 1.2 Exercises

1.2.1. Explore the Nonlinear Nature of Hypertext

We have described a book index as being a “weak” form of hypertext because it allows a user/reader to “jump” into a book nonsequentially. However, indices are by their very nature set up alphabetically. People don't think alphabetically and alphabets are a characteristic of the language being used.

a) Could there be a better way of providing index-type information more similar to the way we think?

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A1:

Answer: A “hyper-index” might allow a user to identify relevant document content by supporting an interactive search of keywords, concepts, descriptions, and so forth. The user would then not be constrained by the alphabetical ordering of the index or by the arbitrary selection of index entries.

One existing text-based example would be the Encyclopedia Britannica, with its “Outline of Knowledge.” Although information is listed alphabetically, it is broken down by concepts and not specific entries. Many technical documents online have hyperlinks that lead to other areas of the text, such as a detailed discussion of something simple being mentioned, glossaries, or additional information.


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