It turns out that the application of hypermedia technology to small, self-contained material (say, about a hundred documents and links typically) is a manageable task and produces good, i.e. usable results. With a growing number of documents and links (thousands or even millions), however, a number of problems arise that do not manifest themselves in small-scale environments. The WWW described in the previous chapter is no exception in this respect.
In this chapter, we will look at these problems -- and possible solutions -- in detail, as a preparation for the next chapter, in which we explain how these issues have been addressed in the design of Hyper-G. The problems associated with first-generation hypermedia systems can roughly be divided into three groups: those that are faced primarily by the consumer of information (the user), those that involve the information provider (the author), and weaknesses in the system architecture of first-generation systems. We will henceforth use the terms user and author to refer to the roles of consuming and providing information, respectively, rather than referring to different sets of people. Of course, an author is also a user and users may easily become authors.
|8.1 Getting lost in hyperspace|
|8.2 Authoring in the large|
|8.3 Architectural considerations|
|8.4 Further reading|