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Hypertext, intra-document links

Since the very first papyrus scrolls were first used to capture written language, it has become most natural to conceive of text as a single, linear and continuous thread, authored and then read as a single stream. But as books became longer Tables of Contents were prepended, Indices were appended and the opportunities for traversing the text in fundamentallly nonlinear ways became more and more common. As we become interested in other kinds of documents, many bring their own special structures and writing conventions, for example the abstract paragraph, introductions and conclusions of longer papers, the ``Methods'' sections in scientific papers. In news reporting SPIRAL EXPOSITION is often used: a news item is summarized in the first paragraph, then treated in more detail in the paragraphs that fit on Page 1 or ``above the fold'' of the newspaper, and in more detail still in the body of the article.

The attempt to analyze, support, and create such nonlinear, HYPERTEXT relations among documents began long before the WWW made hypertext links commonplace; Vanavar Bush's ``As We May Think'' article (published in 1945!) [REF701] and Ted Nelson's revolutionary Xanadu Xanadu project [Nelson87] are often mentioned as seminal works. Mice and graphical interfaces made clicking on one textual passage, so as to jump to another, second nature. Hypertext conferences focused on these new issues began in the mid-1980s, and taken on new energy as the HTTP protocols and HTML authoring languages made it easy to support many kinds of intra- and inter-document relations [REF700] [REF728] [Agosti92a] [Agosti92b] [Bruza92] [Egan91] . In the process, many types of linkage between documents have been proposed. The following sections mention some of the most common and useful, sometimes using this FOA text (self-referentially!) as examples.


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