Location: Hypertext Review / Integration Issues / Introduction Site Map

1 Introduction

Hypertext systems have not yet been accepted as fundamental tools for the augmentation of human intellect since most of them are “insular, monolithic packages that demand the user disown his or her present computing environment to use the functions of hypertext and hypermedia.” [Meyrowitz, 1989]. Similar to the “cut and paste” paradigm in windowing environments, linking functionality must become an integral part of the computing environment. Application developers must be provided with tools to enable all applications to “link up” in a standard manner.

Most current hypertext systems are closed systems – material created in one system cannot be transferred or integrated with material created in another system because of proprietary document formats and storage mechanisms. Conversion programs are difficult to write since the formats are not disclosed by organizations [Fountain et al., 1990].

In order to make systems open and also integrate hypertext functionality into the desktop, researchers have been working on various hypertext models and interchange standards. This chapter explores these models and standards.