Hypermedia operating systems: a new paradigm for computing

Abstract: Hypermedia is often viewed as either a paradigm for human-computer interaction or information organization. Human-computer interaction provides a view of hypermedia that involves the creation, manipulation, and access of information through a "point-and-click" navigation mechanism. Information organization provides a view of hypermedia that involves the storage of information as a set of data and metadata objects, where metadata objects capture structural relationships among information objects. This paper describes a third view of hypermedia -- hypermedia as a computing paradigm. In this paper, we explore the implications of pushing hypermedia beyond its traditional role in human-computer interaction and information organization into the computer's core operating environment. We believe the resulting hypermedia operating systems provide a new paradigm for computing -- one in which human-computer interaction, information storage and retrieval, programming, and control are integrated in a common conceptual framework. We discuss the basic concepts of hypermedia operating systems and describe a general hypermedia operating system architecture and prototype. While this work represents only a beginning, we feel that viewing hypermedia as a computing paradigm offers a broad new field of research.

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