May 18, 2005

Hypertext '05

This weekend, we had the big planning meeting for Hypertext '05. The conference will be in Salzburg, Austria, this September.

Salzburg is quite a delightful town, a tourist mecca since the days of the grand tour. Some nice food. Lots of excellent beer. The conference will be in a very pleasant hotel, a short walk from the Old Town. It's the place to keep up with research on hypertext -- meaning research on links. I think we're going to have a panel on blogging, maybe also a workshop. Stay tuned.

The big trend I sense in the program -- and, even more, in discussions about the program -- is fresh interest in stretchtext and collage and other ways to connect things together beside the familiar Web link. This ties interestingly into the some new Web trends, especially AJAX. I think there's a very intriguing Tinderbox connection here, too. (For example, how might the little rollover-links like this be used for discursive hypertext? For fiction?)

This sort of javascript play used to be a lot of trouble for scant reward -- especially since you'd constantly be running into incompatible browsers and your pages would keep breaking all the time. Now that the Web Standards folk have won, I think it's time for a fresh look at stretchtext on the Web.

Especially since Tinderbox templates and macros should be able to make this very, very easy.

Update: Not that easy, apparently; Safari and Firefox disagree about whether OnMouseOut applies if the button moves away from the mouse. Fixed now. Thanks, Oliver Boermans!