Hypermedia Systems

Notes on Hypermedia Systems

 web applications are not islands. We’re writing HTML not just for a particular application, but also to play along with other members of the web. When we write with the hypermedia system in mind, we’re better able to tap the range of abilities available to the web.  good HTML lets browsers do a lot of work for us.

HTTP and HTML are (as the names suggest), are Hypermedia systems.

Hypertexts: new forms of writing, appearing on computer screens, that will branch or perform at the reader’s command. A hypertext is a non-sequential piece of writing; only the computer display makes it practical. — Ted Nelson, https://archive.org/details/SelectedPapers1977/page/n7/mode/2up

The prefix “hyper-” derives from the Greek prefix “ὑπερ-” which means “beyond” or “over”, indicating that hypermedia goes beyond normal, passively consumed media like magazines and newspapers.

Hyperlinks are a canonical example of what is called a hypermedia control:

Hypermedia Control

A hypermedia control is an element in a hypermedia that describes (or controls) some sort of interaction, often with a remote server, by encoding information about that interaction directly and completely within itself.

 Hypertext is a sub-category of hypermedia

Hypertexts like HTML function alongside other technologies crucial for making an entire hypermedia system work: network protocols like HTTP, other media types such as images and videos, hypermedia servers (i.e., servers providing hypermedia APIs), sophisticated hypermedia clients (e.g., web browsers), and so on.

As we may think by Vannevar Bush