The Electronic Labyrinth

Further Hypertext Readings

Anyone writing about hypertext for book publication faces an immediate contradiction: a paper book extolling the virtues of electronic text. Yet few authors would abandon paper entirely. Paper books still reach a larger public, and are necessary to meet peer review and tenure qualifications for academics.

Though this current study is the only one we are aware of which has been written exclusively for hypertext, several authors have made their research available electronically, as supplements or alternatives to paper.

Some authors have written as if for an electronic book, but presented the results on paper. In his Introduction to Hypertext/Hypermedia, Jonassen states:

This hyperbook points out some of the obvious limitations of paper as a hypertext medium. However, it seemed the most appropriate way to present the topic of hypertext and hypermedia.

In Jonassen's book, each page is a node with anchors represented by boxes around the text. Adjacent numbers refer to the destination page. Maps provide concept and topic organization.

In Mapping Hypertext, Horn combines hypertext with idea mapping. The result is a melange of clip art, graphics, and text chunks. This utilitarian approach assumes a lowest-common-denominator reader, thus replacing the joy of reading with annoyance.

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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