Browse Prior Art Database

Dynamically Built Hypertext Link Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037063D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 3 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Felder, M: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a new system for linking the hypertext databases that circumvents problems arising from: 1) information about multiple releases of a product, 2) multiple meanings for a word or phrase, 3) products that use multiple releases of other products as a base, and 4) customized user information. This system is in lieu of the typical design for hypertext wherein hypertext links between pieces of information are predefined (except for customized user information) by the developer.

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Dynamically Built Hypertext Link Structure

Disclosed is a new system for linking the hypertext databases that circumvents problems arising from: 1) information about multiple releases of a product, 2) multiple meanings for a word or phrase, 3) products that use multiple releases of other products as a base, and 4) customized user information. This system is in lieu of the typical design for hypertext wherein hypertext links between pieces of information are predefined (except for customized user information) by the developer.

Most hypertext systems make the following assumptions about the databases they encompass:

The terms in the database have relatively constant meaning throughout. For example, "oxygen" or "William Shakespeare" or "nematode" are typical terms. The term "semaphore" has different meanings to people working with trains versus those working with computers, but it is unlikely that a single database would include discussions of both. Hence, automatic algorithms to build links between items in the database are easy to build during development of the product.

The "truths" in the database are slowly changing or constant. For example, it is infrequent that historical facts (the date of birth of a poet) or scientific facts (the color of a diseased organ) will radically change.

The "truths" in the database are not dependent upon conditions that vary dramatically from user to user.

When a hypertext database is used to document complex architecture and artifices of human conception (for example, collections of software products that are built upon other software products, such as operating systems), these three assumptions do not hold true. For example, the products that would be documented by a hypertext database might consist of a collection of independently conceived and developed products that do not have consistent terminology. Some words like "status" may refer to the status of different items in each product. Hence, a reliable, automated algorithmic linking of terms and phrases is impossible. The word "status" may have a unique meaning only in a context.

The "truth" that "when you type X, you get Y" may change radically from release 1 to release 2 of a product. But because a user has some software from each release running (on different computers, perhaps), several different "truthful" answers may be correct, depending on the context (in this case, context means "release") of the question.

Finally, computer products are often built in layers. As a result of this layering, the...