The Unknown: The Green Line.


Hypertext Gizmos We’d

Like to See

It goes without saying that many of the tools that we’d like to see are already out there, but there is a problem of integration and focus. The software out there is compartmentalized, and so necessitates many steps in different programs.

But there are some things we’d like to see that we haven’t seen yet.

It would be nice for a hypertext editor to have one-click integration with Internet search software like Apple’s Sherlock.

A collaboration logging engine that would track changes and keep everyone working on a project with updated files.

A hypertext concept database:
Software that would enable background tracking of individual nodes/story units, so that each page could be automatically indexed and linked to others via different kinds of conceptual categories—geographic, linguistic, thematic, by author, even by antonym and rhyme, so that conceptual searches of a text in progress could become more automated for the writer(s).

Software which would more seamlessly transfer from the Web to Print to the Web to Print to the Web to Print to the Web to Print to the Web.

Integrated audio+transcription software—software that would, in one package, handle digitization of audio into multiple web-ready formats and then provide a rough transcript of voice audio, and then generate HTML of the draft. That would be a nice tool.

Software that allows a writer to begin a hypertext by designing a link based on geometric properties. The software could allow the writer (even the reader) of the hypertext to rotate a three dimensional shape, whose edges would represent links, and whose vertices would represent pages, in virtual space. I envision the shape as being inflexible and rigid, to differentiate what I am describing from The Brain, which rotates an elastic model in three-dimensional space.

Software that will allow, in, say, a narrative, for a scene to occur twice with subtle, not random, variations. This could happen in a time travel story where an event is visited twice by a time-travelling character, or in a normal story where a scene is experienced differently by two different characters, or in the case of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style divergent narrative, a scene that occurs differently depending on which branch of the narrative has been followed. Rob Kendall’s working on something like this.

A relational database with a graphical interface designed for composing and/or randomly generating characters.



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