October 2006 | Burton Group Report - Hypertext and Compound/​Interactive Document Models

December 7, 2006 · · Posted by Jordan Frank

Burton Group's Peter O'Kelly's report titled Hypertext and Compound/​Interactive Document Models: Collaboration and Content Management Implications goes a long way towards explaining the benefits of and drive towards hypertext (a platform for blogs and wikis and more) as a backbone for collaborative work and communication.​ In the report, Burton Group says Traction TeamPage.​.​.​ ".​.​.​comes closest to bringing the visions of hypertext pioneer Doug Engelbart to fruition, and that it is also a very useful leading indicator in terms of features other vendors will eventually add.​"

The report uses several Traction examples to illustrate the Hypertext Content Model.​

In the report's synopsis, O'Kelly explains the concepts of hypertext and the how it can exploit compound and interactive documents models to benefit the user:

Hypertext is simply a better form-follows function fit (than print-centric approaches) for the way people actionally think and work.​ Compound documents facilitate focusing more on information work than on disparate technologies and tools, and foster more effective content management.​ Interactive document models are used to automatically and unobtrusively offer supplemental resources and actions in context, providing opportunities to more effectively leverage tools and metadata without disruptive context shifts.​

In short, hypertext systems provide the most effective platform for information publishing and collaborative work.​ Traction's hypertext model combines multiple permissioned spaces that support collaborative editing in place (wiki style), collaboration over time (blog style) and a unique inline comment and permission model to capture communication in context.​

Traction was inspired by the capabilities of 'classical' closed hypertext systems (NLS/​Augment, FRESS, Xanadu, Intermedia, Notes, DynaText) which pre-dated the web, but required users to put everything the wanted to view and link within that closed system.​ And the only content you could link to was in the same siloed space versus Tim Berners-Lee's simple, open, scalable (but breakable) World Wide Web.​

Unlike closed hypertext systems, Traction was built to work with the Web at every level: editing, publishing, browsing, linking, RSS/​Atom syndication, search engine compatibility.​ But Traction's underlying Journal provides a secure, scalable space where internal links don't break, links can be followed in either direction, and fine grain comments, meta-data attributes, aggregated views, and faceted permissions just work.​ Blog and wiki's become presentation styles over a base which expands the capabilities of the ubiquitous web, see Weblog - the NLS Journal Revisited.​

Traction can also display hypertext content using embedded page sections and dynamic multi-entry views while widgets display content from external sources or automatically link to external sources by tracking number, customer id or similar natural identifiers that people use every day.​

See below for a Traction page section example of a compound document displaying all or part of the content from pages selected by tag match, content match, or other criteria.​ This example displays a snippet from other Burton Group papers which lead to the most recent report:

16 March 2005 | Blogs, Wikis, and Beyond: New Alternatives for Collaboration and Communication
(Full Report Requires Burton Group Login for Access) By Peter O'Kelly - "Blogs and wikis represent important opportunities for communication channels and collaborative workspaces... Because they are simpler to create and use than traditional enterprise-oriented alternatives, blogs and wikis are very effective for relatively basic communication/collaboration scenarios, and they’re also very ...
12 October 2004 | Burton Group - Communication and Collaboration: Compelling Convergence or Continued Chaos?
(Document Requires Burton Group Login for Access) - Peter O'Kelly lays out a vision of well integrated workspaces for collaboration and channels for communication. O'Kelly comments: Traction is as simple as a wiki (defined and described in “The Details”) in terms of getting started with a new workspace, but the depth of its metamodel makes Traction more robust for a wider range of ...

See also Blog1591: The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz
Blog936: Reinventing the Web
Beyond blogs and wikis
The Evolution of Personal Knowledge Management
Enterprise 2.​0 - Letting hypertext out of its box
And here's what Enterprise 2.​0 looked like in 1968 | Dealing lightning with both hands.​.​.​