The Eighth ACM International Hypertext Conference

Southampton, UK
April 6-11, 1997



Title: Open and Integrated Hypermedia Documentation

Lloyd Rutledge: Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI),Amsterdam

Course Length


1. Abstract

In an open and integrated document environment, documents from one document set can be presented with applications designed for another document set and can be incorporated, in part or in full, into document instances of another set. This facilitates information reuse: the information can be authored once and be presented in many manners and in many circumstances without re-editing. This approach toward documentation has been widely adopted in the text processing community with SGML, a document format language allowing the definition of documents independently of presentation and the tailoring of document sets to the author's individual needs. Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language(HyTime) is an extension of SGML into hypertext and multimedia. It inherits SGML's presentation-independence and document model tailoring and also defines documents in terms of generic hypermedia constructs uniformly recognized by all HyTime systems.

This course focuses on HyTime in its discussion of open and integrated hypermedia documentation. A general model for open and integrated document authoring and processing is given. The standard practices for text documentation that have evolved within the SGML community over the past decade are discussed and their application to hypermedia described. An overview of HyTime and the hypermedia concepts it represents is provided. Other standards with potential to cooperate with HyTime in a full hypermedia environment, such as DSSSL, MHEG, and HTML, are reviewed and their relationship with HyTime described. The current status of the adoption and use of HyTime and other formats in open and integrated hypermedia documentation is described.

2. Outline

i. Open and Integrated Hypermedia: Introduction

- Document Authoring

- Document Processing

- Benefits

- Overview of Related Work in Open and Integrated Hypermedia

ii. SGML

- SGML Basics

- Practices of SGML Community

iii. HyTime

- The Scope of HyTime: What It Does and Does Not Do

- HyTime's Relationship with SGML

- A Simple HyTime Document Model

- Three-layer Data and Document Processing Model

iv. Basic HyTime Facilities and Constructs

- The Most Significant and Easily Understood Architectural Forms From Each Module

- Examples of Their Use

v. Brief Tour of Advanced HyTime Features

vi. The Design of HyTime Engines

- What HyTime Engines Do How They Fit in the Document Processing Model

vii. Related Standards and their Role in HyTime Processing




viii. Current Status and Future Directions

- HyTime



- Open and Integrated Hypermedia Documentation

ix. Summary and Conclusion

3. Course Objectives

The primary objective of this course is to familiarize the audience with the motivations for, and issues involved with, open and integrated hypermedia documentation. The audience will also come to understand some formats and systems for achieving this type of documentation, primarily HyTime but also including SGML, DSSSL, and MHEG. The role these formats, and others like them, play in a complete hypermedia environment will be conveyed. Finally, the audience will know what steps to take to implement these formats by being informed of the typical practices current undertaken for their use and the tools that are currently available for processing them.

4. Intended Audience

This course is for beginners. No experience with the formats discussed assumed, nor is familiarity with computer programming required. The course will be valuable to anyone considering using or implementing open documentation techniques in their hypertext environments.

Instructor Biography

Lloyd Rutledge received his BS degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1987, his Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in1993, and his Doctor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1996. There search for his Masters and Doctoral theses was on the use of HyTime in authoring environments and the design of HyTime systems. He has served on the HyTime development committee and has presented tutorials on HyTime at several international conferences including SGML 92, ICMCS 94, DAGS 95, and ACM Multimedia 94. He has also been an instructor in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Mr. Rutledge is now at the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) in the Netherlands researching the use of generic hypermedia models like HyTime in document processing.

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