epublishing: why not hypermedia?

James G. Smith jgsmith at watson.bcm.tmc.edu
Thu Aug 9 13:17:40 EST 1990


I'm confused and a little disappointed.  Why does no one else see the value
of hypermedia?  Everyone seems to be advocating postscript as the standard,
which sounds to me like taking the wings off airplanes and using them as
road vehicles.  I advocate HyperCard, and in response to the chorus of
"not everyone has a mac" I say: Hypercard is quickly becoming the defacto
standard.  There are already hypercard like programs for ibm type machines.
I think the most recent one is Toolbook, or some such.  Unless I'm mistaken,
most of these have some sort of utilities for converting hypercard stacks.
I think there is also some talk about development of standard languages for
such object oriented environments.

And so I would like to change my vision of the future.

I use a mouse to click on the library icon on my screen, which brings up 
picture of the inside of a library. (The computer has just logged in to my
local server).  I click on the shelf that has the "New Journals" sign, which
brings up a scrolling list of journals.  I click on "Nature", and I get a
scrolling list of new titles (all the new titles since the last time I looked).
I click on an interesting title, and up comes the abstract.  I decide I want
the full article so I click on the "fetch"(?) button. (the computer then 
connects to the "Nature" server.)  A dialog window comes up saying "This paper
will cost 7 cents."  I avoid the "Okay" button and click on "Nevermind" (having
forgotten how expensive these papers are.)

I could go on (and on and on), but I think you get the point...or do you?

Unless I'm seriously deluded (always a real possibility) all of what I described should be relatively easy to do.

*
(does anyone share this vision?)
.



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