What is a hypertext?

We explain what is hypertext in computer science and what is its importance on the Internet. Characteristics and uses of hypertext.

  1. What is a hypertext?

The hypertext information is an authoring tool, link and distributing information from various sources, which operates based on a structure , not sequential but associative, ie nonlinear, direct, but leads from one thing to another, very The way of human thought.

This occurs through associative links called hyperlinks or cross-references , which lead from a main document to secondary ones in which it is possible to rescue supplementary or complementary information. This dynamic is called a link or link (in English), and is essential in the use of the Internet .

Hypertext, despite its name, is not limited to written or textual information, but can link to images, sounds , audiovisual documents, entire Web pages or any other form of digital action (send an e-mail, download a file , etc.). The coexistence of this type of formats is usually called hypermedia .

Hypertext documents must be opened and read with a browser or browser (also “viewer” or “client”), which is a computer software designed for it, and the action of jumping from one hypertext to others available on the Web is called surf the Internet.

  1. Characteristics of a hypertext

Hypertexts are characterized by being:

  • Multimediatic . As we said, they are not limited to written text , but can link to images, sounds, videos, etc.
  • Digital . Hypertext is typical of digital and cybernetic dynamics , it is impassable to paper or other media, although human memory seems to work in a similar way.
  • Connective . All hypertext leads to some part of the Web, except in cases where this link has been broken (missing files, pages no longer available, etc.).
  • Interactive . Hypertexts require user action (usually on operating systems such as Windows , with a click of the mouse or mouse ) to operate, they do not fire automatically.
  • Reusable . The same hypertext can be used infinitely.
  • Extendible . Hypertext allows you to extend the reading experience with other documents and extend the scope of the information available to the user.
  • Transients . Since hypertexts are basically links, their validity will depend on the destination to which they lead is available. Hyperlinks whose fate is not available are known as “fallen” or “broken.”
  1. Uses of hypertext

Broadly speaking, hypertext serves to:

  • Provide reference material to readers , such as secondary documents, added information, clarify a concept, etc. This information can be both general and specific.
  • Fragment the reading material , allowing you to get to the point of the information requested by the user but leaving the door open so that, if you wish, you can access more relevant information or the rest of the document you started reading ( previews ).

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