Vint Cerf’s Vision on Hypertext

Vint Cerf’s Vision on Hypertext

In preparation for the next Hypertext conference edition, we have asked Vint Cerf, vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google (read more about Vint here) to give us his vision on Hypertext.

In his view, hypertext combines text and software, specifically, the software supporting the interaction, manipulation, and presentation of both content and structure of the text. This happens both in production and consumption contexts. On the production side, the software has the crucial role of understanding the structure of the content and integrating metadata. On the consumption side, it supports users in reading and interacting with the text.

With regard to the consumption, Vint argues that the value of hypertexts is more on the ability to interact rather than the presentation of the content. Indeed, what he finds:

particularly valuable is a software environment in which the focus of attention can be on what is the content, and how is it structured, and parts of the text relate to each other. Can I move these parts around in order to satisfy some organisation objectives?

Vint Cerf

Another interesting aspect is the ability to reference and link to other documents, which is the essence of the World Wide Web. However, this poses new challenges such as finding better ways of preserving digital content, so that it can be reused over a longer period of time. Indeed, for all sorts of reasons, some domain names and URLs may not resolve after some time.

The world of Hypertext is developing on multiple fronts, and Vint is super enthusiastic about software that understands content and structure and aids both production and consumption of content.

The next edition of Hypertext will be held in Rome (IT) from 4 to 8 September 2023.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Enjoy the video.

I am a Research Associate at the Intelligence Systems and Data Science (ISDS) group, at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) of the Open University. I obtained my Ph.D., studying methods for the early detection of research trends. In particular, my project aimed at identifying the emergence of new research topics at their embryonic stage. My research interests are in the areas of Semantic Web, Network Science and Knowledge Discovery technologies, with focus on the structures and evolution of science.