CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
Hypertext is a nonsequential way of presenting information that is one of the fundamental principles behind the design of the World Wide Web. Hypertext unites information in a complex web of associations, powered by hyperlinks. For example, when you read a Web page about a news event, you might click a hyperlink in the middle of a sentence to follow a tangential point--perhaps you want to read the full text of a speech, or even better, an audio clip of the speech (see hypermedia). In the next sentence, you might click a link that takes you to a page that offers background information. Without hypertext, the page would have to present these different pieces of information sequentially.
The term was coined by Ted Nelson for his Project Xanadu. Unfortunately, Nelson doesn't think much of how the Web has executed the concept.
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