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Multimedia added a new dimension to hypertext, and mutated the term into hypermedia. The adaptation of the primitive models and mechanisms to the space of continuous media led to a further conceptual level and to the reinvention of information design methods. Hypermedia systems also became an ideal space for collaboration and cooperative work. Information access and sharing, and group work were enabled and empowered by distributed hypermedia systems.
As with many technologies, a winning technical paradigm, in our case the World Wide Web, concentrated the design options, the architectural choices and the interaction and navigation styles. Since the late nineties, the Web became the standard framework for hypermedia systems, and integrated a large number of the initial concepts and techniques. Yet, other paths are still open.
This lecture maps a simple "genome" of hypermedia systems, based on an initial survey of primitive systems that established architectural and functional characteristics, or traits. These are analyzed and consolidated using phylogenetic analysis tools, to infer families of systems and evolution opportunities. This method may prove to be inspiring for more systematic perspectives of technological landscapes.
Table of Contents: Introduction / Original Visions and Concepts / Steps in the Evolution / Information and Structured Documents / Web-Based Environments / Some Research Trends / A Framework of Traits / A Phylogenetic Analysis / Conclusion