The purpose of the HYTEA project is to implement a set of tools to support the development of large and complex hypertext/hypermedia applications.
The project creates a set of productivity tools for professional hypertext authoring with quality, efficiency and flexibility. The approach rests on an innovative hypertext design model (HDM). The structure of an hypertext application is specified on an high conceptual level using a graphical HDM editor. From this high level specification, the compiler and targeting tools can then build up concrete hypertext applications in a variety of commercial hypertext systems. In this process, many links and visualization elements are generated automatically. This reduces the effort for creation and maintenance of hypertext applications, ensures consistency and completeness of hypertext structures, and permits flexible application configurations.
The target of the project is applications which exhibit a number of specific features: the body of information to be represented is very large and complex; the authoring effort is long-lasting (continuous maintenance or updates); and there is a clear-cut distinction between authors and readers.
For applications with the above features, authors need support in several respects:
- an application-oriented model to define the structure (ie the schema) of the applications
- an application-oriented model to define the objects (ie instances) which populate the application
- a way to "translate" the application developed with the above model into an implementation model (the features of which can be exemplified by the Dexter reference model for hypertext systems)
- tools to support all these phases: specification, design, development, debugging, maintenance, etc.
The expected results of HYTEA are:
- an application-oriented model to describe schemas of hypertext applications
- an application-oriented model to represent an application according to a predefined schema
- a model to translate the representations defined at above into an implementation with a conventional hypertext system
- tools to support the definition of schemas, the modelling of an application, the "translation" of the application into a conventional application, and the maintenance of that application
- a number of prototype applications.
Different media will be supported (both in the model and in the tools): text, still graphics, animated graphics, sound, still images, video images, etc. The implementation environment will support a number of different standards and technologies: CD, CD-I, DVI, etc.
End-users are directly involved in the project.