The main characteristics of hypertext
After the invention of computers and, especially after the appearance and spread of the Internet, the principles of hypertext began to find application in various fields of computer science. First of all, there arose a whole industry of translating traditional texts into a hypertext form. An example of translating a linear text containing links to other information related to the content of this text, materials in a traditional form, to the hypertext database is shown in Fig. 5.2.
Fig. 5.2. Scheme of procedures for presenting traditional text content as a hypertext database
The basic characteristics of computer-based hypertext information systems, including those on the Internet, are:
1) the presence of a custom interface (in most cases graphic ), which through Internet browsers or other special software provides the user with the possibility of efficient navigation in hypertext space (choosing the way to browse information nodes of hypertext space);
2) the availability of special software tools for constructing hypertext structures (programs - hypertext designers ), which allow you to create multimedia information nodes and manage their position in the general structure of hyperspace through the establishment of hypertext connections between them;
3) the availability of special mechanisms to support navigation and information retrieval in hyperspace by different parameters (keywords, authorship, creation date, file type, etc.). Recently, work has been intensified to create structurally organized search systems, along with the ability to search the content of the information node, which allows you to find and isolate a portion of the hypertext space in accordance with the characteristics of the user-customized search filter ;
4) the availability of special software tools for indexing the information content of hypertext nodes and describing the types of hyperlink links that link them to the formation of specialized hypermedia search Internet servers;
5) the availability of a system for storing hypertext information that can be implemented both as a file system and as a management system knowledge base, or relational database, or object-oriented database.
Using hypertext principles in modern computer science
It is generally accepted that hypertext and hypermedia provide a new, more sophisticated way to manage complex composite information objects, which makes it possible to increase the efficiency of working with information of any kind in various areas of its functioning. Let us briefly consider the most significant areas of application of hypertext technologies in modern computer science.
1. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, training materials, reference books and online guides. Research on the effectiveness of the use of hypertext dictionaries (in particular, one of the most famous English-language dictionaries Oxford English Dictionary (OED )) showed that they not only allow you to quickly and easily find the desired interpretations of words, but are a means of optimizing and rationalizing the general idea of the world and its objects, which is included in the structure of the "naive" natural knowledge of man. In other words, working with a hypertextual explanatory dictionary becomes an integral part of any other activity related to the processing of information. This effect is all the more pronounced, the more efficient are the means of organizing intellectual information retrieval and the means of processing complex information requests that contribute to the targeted collection of information. Not the least role here is played by the fact of the principle multimedia of hypertext systems. The most widespread use of these properties is now in the field of medical diagnostics and in the development of medical reference books and textbooks, as well as in engineering education and other fields of knowledge related to the study of complex multifunctional and multicomponent information systems.
From the medical field, the hypertext principle of organizing information support has extended to the creation of reference documents in almost all spheres of activity, since only it enables the quick and targeted search and delivery to the user only information relevant for him at a given time and in any particular situation. Gradually, online documentation has grown with means of contextual help, training manuals and testing materials, which, being closed in a single hypertext space, are able to form a learning environment in one or another field. The hypermedia of such an environment also makes it possible to make it as adaptive as possible, not only the current context-related requirements and user requests, but also for different types of learning (full-time, remote or mixed), various cognitive learning strategies for learning material (for students of visuals or audials, etc.). At the same time, not only the speed and convenience of working with the material is achieved, but also significant cost savings, since the same factual material does not require repeated repetition when included in textbooks designed for different levels and different composition of the classroom.
2. Learning systems, virtual museum, interactive help systems. With the advent of hypertext, training systems have the chance to finally realize the idea of learning through an independent or directed by the teacher a full study of the object under study. In particular, one of the first projects in this area is the project "Shakespeare" - used hypertext technology and multimedia tools to provide an opportunity to study not only the biography itself and the works of Shakespeare or the history of the theater in England, but also the psychological aspects of the perception of the artistic text, sociological issues in the historical perspective and in the present and other problems. To do this, all the known materials from various research related sciences related to the indicated direction were collected in a single hypertext complex, which otherwise would not be available in their entirety. The first experiments of this kind laid the foundations for a whole direction in the field of object-oriented learning, which is developing quite successfully at the present time within the framework of the learning objects concept (English LO - < strong> Learning Objects ) .
The first experiments in the humanities turned out to be so successful that they were immediately picked up by other scientific fields (biology, physics, chemistry), which made improvements to the developed method and supplemented the programmers of educational hypertext tools with new opportunities. In particular, in interactive English courses and molecular biology, which were written in the hypertext environment "Intermedia" ( Intermedia ), it was possible to control the student's independent work not only from the teacher, but also from other students who sent each other's e-mails written works for abstracting and evaluation .
All these experiments marked the beginning of a whole trend in modern computer didactics - learning in the course of students' joint activity collaborative learning , Massive Open on -line Courses) , where several hundred thousand students can study at the same time all over the world.
Another rapidly developing sphere of application of hypertext technologies is connected with the creation of virtual Internet and intranet museums. Almost all major museums in the world now have the appropriate hypertext computer analogues. Researchers note that they contribute to greater individualization and involvement of the user in the presented expositions. In this area, in the recent past, innovative means of transforming the virtual museum environment have also emerged - the so-called expanded (or enlarged) reality (English AR - Augmented Reality) , which allows you to merge the real user environment and virtual information resources that are stored in the global (or local) network database.
Search and reference hypertext systems have now become the dominant servers in the field of tourism and travel on the Internet. They provide an opportunity not only to navigate in a particular locality, to choose for an inspection and "visit" but also to pick up and book a hotel, transportation, etc. At the same time, all such information is related to each other and forms thematic sequences - routes of travel in a virtual city or any locality or on the terrain.
3. Hypertext as a model of human thought processes. Today it became evident that it was the hypertext information model, based on the hypothesis that the processing and generation of ideas by the human brain occurs not only logically, but not in a smaller amount of associative, was actually recognized as a basic and fairly effective way of presenting and conveying knowledge on the Internet. Moreover, any computer simulation of human cognitive activity today is built taking into account the hypertext principles tested on the Internet. In particular, it is believed that since the hypertext structure of information representation corresponds to the nonlinear, multidimensional format of knowledge structuring that a person uses in his information practice, it is the hypertext principles that should be used as the basis for computer training programs in the system of modern, high-tech, remote learning.
Cognitive psychology, which studies the process of knowledge transfer, also confirms that to write and read linearly the person learns specifically, while in the depth of his thinking lies nonlinear hypertext transformation of more complex, multicomponent and multilevel representations. In a somewhat simplified form, it can be assumed that the creator of some information product to be transmitted comes from a network of nonlinearly structured information to its linear representation (text), and the reader performs a reverse transformation. Thus, the positions of cognitive psychology interact in the closest manner with the basic principles of the theory of computer hypertext.
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