Posted by: erienkoma | July 26, 2010

CONCEPT OF HYPERTEXT

Pioneers : BUSH,NELSON and ANZEL

Concept of hypertext was described by Bush as a system; it was called “MEMEX” (Memory Extender)
In his article “As We may Think”, as “a sort of mechanized private file and library” and as “a device in which an individual stores his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility”.
Memex was created by Bush based on microfilm and eye-tracking technology to enable users to follow cross-reference with ease

Nelson who coined the term “hypertext”
Based on Bush’s idea of memex, he developed “XANADU”. Xanadu was designed based on combination of back end and local databases, which enables fast response for most hypertext access.

Anzel, et.al, (1992:124)
Based on the concept hypertext system, Anzel, et.al, state that “the recent interest in hypertext concepts in computer science can be explained by the fact that we can now support non-linearity with computers, thus making it much easier and faster for a reader to follow up cross references. Modern computers, furthermore, allow us to expand the notion of the text to include not only texts and pictures as in printed texts, but also sound, music, animation and video in a single hypertext system.”

What is Hypertext?
Non-Sequential Information. From the windows displayed on the screen (“Contents” screen), users can open document D directly instead of opening document A first, followed by document B and C sequentially. Suppose a user can’t find information he requires in document D , and he wants to open document B, he may access document B directly. This is because there is a link between the “Contents” windows on the screen and document D, and another link with connects document D and B.

Hypertext and Hypermedia
• Hypertext, implies that the system is solely related to plain text. As recent developments have found there is possibility of connecting hypertext with other media, such as graphics, animation or sound, the term “hypermedia” , then, sometimes used to highlight the multimedia aspects in the system.

• As a matter of fact, hypermedia is similar to hypertext. The only distinction is that instead of linking just text, users can link to the other media, such as graphics, video, spreadsheet, animation as well as sound.

• In short, users of hypermedia systems can link together information of any media type provided by current technology (Smith, 1988)

Advantages of Hypertext

The advantage of hypertext can be summarized as follows:
• ease of tracing references
• ease of creating new references
• information structuring
• global views
• customized documents
• modularity of information
• consistency of information
• task stacking
• collaboration

Problems with Hypertext

One of the major problems encountered when working with hypertext system is helping the user visualize how the information is linked together. How to show the links between documents, and what sort of information is linked to the document.
Along with this, Smith (1988:39) stated that:

In other word, the system need to answer the question “Where am I?”. “What information is available?” and “How can I get to it?”. The process of following links can be disorienting, …..

Conklin (1987:38)
Along with the power to organize information much more complexly comes the problem of having to know (1) where you are in the network and (2) how to get some other place that you know (or think) exists in the network. I call this the “disorientation” problem.

Conklin stated that the disorientation problem is accounted for the hypertext which offers more freedom that enables users to move and hence a greater potential for the users to become lost or disoriented. This can clearly be seen in the network which comprises a massive number of nodes; the more nodes in a network, the more difficult or harder information can be obtained.

Hypertext Application

Some of hypertext applications are listed below

Business
– Product catalogues and advertisements
– Organizational charts and policy manuals
– Annual reports and orientation guides
– Resumes/CVs and biographies
– Treaties, contracts, and wills
– Newsletters and new magazines
– Software documentation and code

Hypertext in Language Learning

Hypertext system can be implemented in learning of all language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – and also language aspects (components), such as vocabulary or grammar. However, the application of hypertext in learning grammar shows the best and most successful result.


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