hypertextbooks: a working model

There's a rich body of hypertext literary theory. Little of this is written with today's World Wide Web in mind. Since HTML/web publishing is a limited platform, fewer questions face web page makers.

I started making web pages in 1994 with only the theories and experience of a literate web browser.

The structure I ended up using for stories about my life seems to me the most natural way to use the web to cover subjects and permit students to educate themselves.

People in my life have their own pages, and subpages
example: Colin Hall, and his old apartment.

Events in my life have their own pages, and subpages
example: My arrest, and my eventual lawsuit.

Places in my life have their own pages, and subpages
example: San Francisco and nearby Oakland.

Many of those pages has pictures or an illustration. And between those pieces are links - throughout my web site, there are thousands of links, links between these pieces of my life. Starting with one page, you can wander for hours satisfying any curoisities without reaching the limit of information.

Now can you imagine studying history that way? What if biographies of historical figures were written in that fashion, and linked together?

What things end up as directories, or subdirectories; what is its own page and what ends up on another page; how to name things - these questions are thorny indeed. There are no sure answers (and don't believe any database maker who says otherwise).

Making a web page is easy. Growing that into a web site is a learning experience that you can surely master with patience. Building a sites with hundreds of links means that you have to find each of those links yourself, and that is a labour of love - or youthful energy: tap your students!

Start with a manageable project.

hypertextbooks | personal publishing | technologee writings

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