A hypertext is a collection of interconnected documents or document fragments. The idea of computer-based hypertexts is rooted in Vannevar Bush’s vision, as described in his 1945 Atlantic Monthly article “As We May Think,” of a personal document collection with “a provision whereby any item may be caused at will to select immediately and automatically another.” Authors who wish to emphasize the multimedia nature of constituent documents and fragments prefer to use the term hypermedia when describing hypertexts.
The term hypertextwas introduced in the early 1960s by Ted Nelson, who advocated the power of non-linearity in organizing thoughts and discourses. Simultaneously, Doug Englebart demonstrated a system for “augmenting human intellect” that included a facility to expose inline fragments of text in response to users’ request for finer detail. These early ideas have evolved to form the basis of HTML (the Hypertext Markup Language) and the...