vcu english2.JPG (2565 bytes)

english 651: writing hypertext





style sheet


bad design cyborg text mega-sites
best of web graphics poets/poetry
client pull edge prof. organizations
commentary/criticism journals/webzines texts
web design


Bad Design         

Adventures in the Great Out There
This may have looked groovy in 1995, but things change fast on the web. --mak 8/12/98

Take a look at this site.  Note the clutter and the time it takes to load..  --mak 8/12/98

Teaching Academic Research on the WWW
In November, 1996, when I was first learning to write HTML and use the latest web editor, I composed this native hypertext for a professional presentation/demonstration.  My intention was to revise the navigational links after the conference and post the web so that a reader could progress logically through it and make sense. I never did the revision or the posting. But it occurs to me now that you might benefit from seeing what a "writer-based" web looks like. I think it very obviously raises some of the issues involved in designing a hypertext for a reader.   --ejc 9/4/98

Best of Web/Category Sites     up.jpg (1942 bytes) 

Wise Owl Site of the Month
Although the focus of this "best of" site is not on hypertext documents but web sites, it may be of interest to anyone whose focus is in pedagogy or classroom support.   --mak 9/16/98

What's Cool and What's New from Netscape
I skim these pages for new and interesting sites as if they were the daily newspaper.   This is how I disovered Ryman's "novel for the Internet," 253--mak 9/16/98

Client Pull
      up.jpg (1942 bytes)

Examples of pushed text we have looked in class are called, in HTML documentation, client pulls; the purpose of client pull code is to force the local system or client to request an update of information from the server after a fixed time.   This appears to the reader as a push.

HTML definitions of server push and client pull center around whether or not the remote server maintains an ongoing connection with the client for constant or streaming updates (server push) or whether the client periodically requests updated information from the remote server (client pull).  If you experience a site with a server push, you will probably notice that the status bar in the left hand corner of your browser doesn't settle down to "done" but continually gives percentages of info downloaded as long as data is pushed from the server.

Regarding reader interaction with hypertext, however, we have used push and pull differently.

From a reader's perspective, push describes ANY instance in which information comes to the reader without the reader's overt request.  That is, the reader did not issue a mouse click, keyboard, or voice command to trigger a link to another lexia. 

A client pull might be described then, from the hypertext writer's perspective, as an author pull rather than a reader pull;  the author's code pulls even though the reader has done nothing to initiate the pull, other than open a lexia that contains pull code.

Automatically Load a Web Page
Quick clear explanations of using the refresh meta-tag or javascript to create a client pull. --mak 10/25/98

Become a Meta-Master
Useful information on meta-tags, including the refresh tag used for client pulls.  --mak 10/25/98

Cornish Slide Show
An example of client pull to display a slide show.  --mak 10/25/98

Compleat Web-ster
This 1996 text contains an explanation of client pulls you may find helpful.  Be forewarned that the links in the footer menu are dead  .--mak 10/25/98

An Exploration of Dynamic Web Documents
Netcape's guide to client pull.  --mak 10/25/98

Framing a Text
Christy Sheffield Stanford discusses her use of client pulls on the second lexia of this site.  As a side issue, I find the multiple self-portraits linked to audio files quite curious.  --mak 10/25/98

Lyotard Auto-Differend Page
For the more theoretically-minded among you, Alen Liu describes the Lyotard Auto-Differend Page as "a technical experiment and a theoretical  allegory. . .an attempt to improvise a grammar of client-pull constructs or universes."  Dated 95.  Please note possibility that "surprise" links to outside sources may be dead.  --mak 10/25/98

Simple Animations for the WWW
Contains information on client pulls, server push, and animated gifs.  --mak 10/25/98

The Sounds of Surprise
This page illustrates and explains how to use a client pull to play an unrequested sound file.  --mak 10/25/98

South Bank University of London, School of Architecture, Internetworking IT Unit provides two interesting demos of client pull.  --mak 10/25/98

Commentary/Criticism     up.jpg (1942 bytes)

Artificial Memory: Mnemonic Writing in the New Media
Tim McLaughlin

Carolyn Guyer's Essays

Culture and History as Electronic Text: A Lexicon of Critical Questions
Detailed set of questions to help analyze web sites. Provides a "beginning of a vocabulary for critically discussing how the design and execution of electronic environments provide the context for the creation of cultural and
historical knowledge." Also contains links to examples of web site analyses by students of Randy Bass at Georgetown. --ejc 8/13/98

Hyperfiction: Beyond the Printed Page
Contains an annotated list of original hyperfictions and hypertheory, reviews, authors, and other resources. Composed by students of George Dillon at the University of Washington in spring 1998.
--ejc 8/13/98

Rhetorics of the Web: Implications for Teachers of Literacy
Doug Brent. A scholarly article with meta-text and a detailed index which is organized thematically (background to writing on the web, and hypertext rhetoric and its effects on readers, writers, and teachers). Well-organized and useful site. --ejc 8/12/98

Writer's on Writing: Crafting Hypertext Fiction
"This site addresses the process of writing Hypertext fiction, as well as craft issues specific to the form. The focus is writer-centered: I look to authors for discussion of practical concerns, views, theories, and the all-enigmatic 'creative process' as they relate specifically to the creation of hypertext fiction." --Vicki Henriksen, The Ohio State University (3/98)
--ejc 8/13/98

A Personal Chronology of Literary Hypertext
Stuart Moulthrop's personal chronology show developments in technology since 1945 as well as the print precursors to much literary hypertext. He reminds us that the Mac appeared in 1984, the WWW in 1990-91, and Netscape in 1994.  Joyce's afternoon and other hypertext authors and titles are listed in this clear chronology, which includes some helpful annotations. 
--ejc 9/23/98

Cyborg Text     up.jpg (1942 bytes)

I N D R A ' S : N E T : o r : H O L O G O G R A P H Y
a cybertextual project by John Cayley
The hypercard stacks themselves must be downloaded and read on a MAC.  A bit overwhelming to navigate.  --mak 8/12/98

Graphics       up.jpg (1942 bytes)

Andy's Art Attack
Lots of free graphics and design tips.  --mak 10/29/98

Edge     up.jpg (1942 bytes) 

Some hypertext, some art, some fiction, nonfiction, photography, and best of all a great look.  This is a terrific place to do design idea fieldwork.  --mak 8/12/98

Collage and text by Ian Cambell in Enterzone.   Where's the text?  Touch (you don't need to click) the images except for the forward button.  If your browser is slow to load, you will see the text (acutally the names of the combined image files. When faced with two "forward" buttons, the bottom one will take you to a screen where you build your own collage.
--mak 8/12/98

Preview of an interactive environment which will accept one million on-line players.
10six is so real, it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even when you're not signed on! It's a world where weapons and equipment can be bought and sold like real weapons and equipment, where four corporations struggle for planetary dominance, and you struggle to

--mak 8/31/98

The Useum
The Useum is a developmental project connecting people and cultural items from institutional collections and contemporary practitioners. Its purpose is to test ways of interacting with arts and culture online. It is a pilot site, online for only 100 days.
--mak 8/31/98

This commercial site describes itself as "a visual communications studio dedicated to the exploration of new narrative possibilities."  The site mixes flash animation, multimedia, and text.  Some of the multimedia documents will be slow to load.  From Summer 98, #6, try "One Goes There, Yes" linked from the fourth green button left of the central image.  Also check out Spring 98, #5,  choose "The Blinders" number two on the menu. 
--mak 8/31/98

Journals and Webzines     up.jpg (1942 bytes)

Postmodern Culture: Special Hypertext Issue

The New River

Feed Magazine
A web magazine on technoculture and other current issues since 1995; archive of journalism and essays by some well known writers such as Carolyn Guyer and Sven Birkerts. The site keeps asking you for a subscriber name and password, but you can click on cancel and get into the site. --ejc 8/12/98

Hypertext Now
The current webzine on "serious hypertext" from Eastgate Systems. Topics include the craft of hypertext, hypertext tools, hypertext patterns,
visually rich hypertext, notable hypertexts, and the web. This is a serious, well-designed resource for writers and critics of hypertext. --ejc 8/13/98

CMC Magazine
John December's Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine reports about people, events, technology, public policy, culture, practices, study, and applications related to human communication and interaction in online environments. This has been a stable high-quality journal that I have read for several years, but it hasn't been updated recently. (I think December is working on his doctorate at RPI; maybe he's busy elsewhere.) The June 1997 issue focused on Writing on the Web.   Also, check out the CMC editorial policies and guidelines; they make up a whole style manual in themselves.
--ejc 9/23/98

An electronic journal of computer writing, rhetoric, and literature from the Computer Writing and Research Labs at the University of Texas. --ejc 8/13/98

Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments
A progressive and innovative online forum for the exploration of writing, learning, and teaching in hypertextual environments. Primarily for teachers, researchers, and tutors of postsecondary writing. --ejc 8/12/98

According to the editiors "SCROLL is Behaviour New Media's design-driven, multimedia website showcasing contemporary culture online. This site is an area of constant research and experimentation, where storytelling, design and technology communicate alternative ideas."
  --mak 10/30/98


Mega-sites     up.jpg (1942 bytes)

Eastgate Systems
Current to a fault, although you may run across an occasional dead link.  If you do, write Mark Bernstein and let him know.  This is, in effect, hypertext central and a great starting place for exploration.  There is more there than you might realize at first.  --mak 8/12/98

Michael Shumate's site is an extensive list of things hypertext, but last updated in 97.   Some of the links here are dead, but the site is certainly worth exploring.   Be sure to look at the section What I'm Onto. --mak 8/12/98

Word Circuits
Thin on content at this writing, but their directory is current and extensive.  I recommend you take a look and re-visit this site to see how it develops.     --mak 8/12/98

Voice of the Shuttle
Web Page for Humanities Research from Alan Liu at the University of California Santa Barbara. A comprehensive, newly updated, multidisciplinary site with sections on hypertext research and theory, cyberpunk fiction, computers and composition, cyberethics and cyberlaw, among many others of interest to hypertext writers. 
--ejc 8/13/98

The American Studies Web
Fully searchable reference and research guide from Randy Bass at Georgetown University. Excellent section on Literature and Hypertext.
   --ejc 8/13/98

The Electronic Labyrinth
A study of and guide to hypertext technology, published in 1995, "for creative writers looking to move beyond traditional notions of linearity and univocity."
Still useful material, despite the frustration of some dead links.  --ejc 8/13/98

Poets & Poetry     up.jpg (1942 bytes)

Ed Falco
Eastgate's bio page with a link to an interview with Falco from The BluePenny Quarterly.

B.C. Cohen Terminal Wanderlust
When do you know a poem is over?  When do you know that a poem is more than two lines long and is about to "push" another centered two line stanza at you.  Take a look at these electronic texts and think about what aesthetic is governing form here.   Try "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"
(A hypertext by B.C. Cohen and including Whitman's text) and "Glamour."  You aren't warned that the site will push, so if you click too quickly, you miss text.

Robert Kendall

Jim Rosenberg

Where the Sea Stands Still
original Chinese poetic sequence by Yang Lian
cybertextual design and scripting by John Cayley
English translations by BRIAN HOLTON
additional calligraphy by Qu Leilei
additional visual material by Gao Xingjian & John Cayley

Professional Organizations      up.jpg (1942 bytes)

National Writing Project
The National Writing Project is a network of sites in which teachers in universities and the schools join together to write and enhance their practices as teachers of writing.   Take a look at the design of this site as well as its content and organization. Many of its links are of interest to writers of all plaids and stripes, not just to teachers of writing.  --ejc 9/1/98

Texts     up.jpg (1942 bytes)

This is not a comprehensive listing of hypertexts on the web.  Be sure to look at Eastgate and other mega-sites for links to hypertext works.

Bigamy in the Desert
Christy Sheffield Sanford

The Color of Television
Stuart Moulthrop and Sean Cohen

Eastgate's Listing of Hypertext on the Web

The Lacemaker
Marjorie Luesebrink

Light Assemblage 
Tim McLaughlin

25 Ways to Close a Photograph
Tim McLaughlin

A novel for the Internet about the London Underground in seven cars and a crash.

Red Mona
Christy Sheffield Sanford

Web Design
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Design Resources
Somewhat slow to load because of its design, but full of well-organized guidelines for the web designer/writer.  From the communications design program at the University of Baltimore.   --ejc 8/13/98

High Five: Excellence in Design Site
From David Siegel.  Weekly analyses of the design of award-winning sites of all kinds since 1995. Well worth exploring.  --ejc 8/13/98

Netscape DevEdge Online Open Studio
--mak 8/31/98

Resources for Writers of Web Documents
An annotated up-to-date (5/98) list of resources for hypertext writers whether novice or advanced.  This thorough and thoughtful site has been composed and maintained by Sharon Cogdill at St. Cloud State University.
  --ejc 8/13/98

Silva Rhetoricae
Even if I weren't interested in rhetoric, I like the look of this site.  The only problem is that links outside the site open up within the central frame, a problem with all framed sites, but otherwise, this is a nicely done guide.
--mak 9/16/98

Style Guides
From the HTML Writers Guild, an annotated list of style guides appropriate to a variety of hypertexts. 
--ejc 8/13/98

Web Wonk: Tips for Writers and Designers
Also from David Siegel. A site to look into once you have gotten somewhat familiar with web design conventions.  Not really for beginners. --ejc 8/13/98

Easy-to-navigate 'zine for hip web design, from HotWired. May be a little too cool? hot? with-it? for academic purposes. But it's worth taking a look at.
--ejc 9/23/98

Yale Style Guide
From Patrick Lynch at the Center for Advanced Instructional Media. Covers design philosophy and strategies, interface design, site design, page design, web graphics, web animation and multimedia, and extensive bibliography.  --ejc 8/13/98