Hypertext is text that is displayed on a computer or other electronic device and is linked to other documents or resources. When you click on a hypertext link, you are taken to the linked resource, which can be a webpage, an image, a video, or any other type of digital content. Hypertext links are created using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and are usually underlined and colored differently than the surrounding text to make them stand out.
Hypertext is an important part of the World Wide Web, as it allows users to navigate between different pages and resources easily and quickly. It is also a key feature of many other types of electronic documents, including ebooks and presentations.
The structure of hypertext refers to the way that different pieces of content or media are connected and related to one another within a hypertext system. In the context of the World Wide Web, the structure of hypertext is defined by the relationships between webpages, which are connected to one another through hyperlinks.
Hypertext is often organized into a network of nodes, where each node represents a piece of content or media, and the edges between nodes represent the hyperlinks that connect them. This structure allows users to navigate through the content in a non-linear way, moving from one piece of information to the next based on their interests or needs, rather than following a predetermined path.
This structure and flexibility of hypertext also allow creating of complex structures like a tree-like structure, and even more complex, a web-like structure. Where a tree structure is a hierarchical one, where each node has a parent, and a web-like structure allows multiple connections to many nodes, where each node can have multiple parents or children.
It's important to note that Hypertext structure can take on many forms and it could be defined and implemented differently depending on the context and the purpose of the Hypertext system.
Hypertext, hypermedia, and multimedia
Hypertext, hypermedia, and multimedia are all related concepts, but they refer to slightly different things.
Hypertext is text that is displayed on a computer or electronic device with hyperlinks that can be clicked or tapped to access other related content or media. The most common example of hypertext is the text on a webpage that is displayed in a web browser, with hyperlinks that can be clicked to access other webpages or resources on the Internet.
Hypermedia is an extension of the concept of hypertext, which refers to the use of hyperlinks to connect not just text, but also other forms of media, such as images, audio, and video. Hypermedia can include text, images, audio, video, and interactive elements such as forms, buttons and scripts, with links between them.
Multimedia, on the other hand, refers to the use of multiple forms of media, such as text, images, audio, and video, to communicate information or tell a story. Multimedia can include both linear and non-linear elements, such as animations, videos, and interactive elements. Multimedia can be used in a wide range of contexts, including websites, video games, presentations, and advertising.
In short, Hypertext is focused on the connection between text, Hypermedia expands the connections to include other media forms and Multimedia encompasses all media types to communicate information.
Hypertext has several advantages that make it a useful tool for organizing and presenting information.
- Non-linear navigation: Hypertext allows users to navigate through the content in a non-linear way, moving from one piece of information to the next based on their interests or needs, rather than following a predetermined path. This allows users to find and access the information they need more quickly and efficiently.
- Cross-referencing: Hypertext allows authors to create cross-references between different pieces of information, which makes it easier for users to find related information and understand the context of the information they are reading.
- Interactivity: Hypertext allows for interactivity by allowing users to click or tap on hyperlinks to access other content or media. This provides an interactive experience for the user and increase their engagement with the content.
- Multimodality: Hypertext can include links to multimedia materials such as images, videos, and audio files, providing a richer, more immersive experience for users.
- Flexibility: Hypertext is a flexible way of organizing information that can be adapted to a wide range of contexts, from simple webpages to complex, multimedia-rich websites and applications.
- Ease of use: Hypertext is easy for users to understand and navigate. The concept of clicking on underlined or highlighted text to access more information is a common and well-established metaphor that most users are familiar with.
- Cost-effective: Hypertext-based documents and information systems can be created and maintained with relatively low cost, as they can be created and distributed digitally.