Wanted Hypertext Systems

We would like to install the following hypertext systems. Where do we get them from? What will be challenges regarding installation? What about licensing? If you have some information about those please contact us or (preferably) send a tweet mentioning @hist_HT. Please feel free to suggest other systems we haven’t listed yet.


Aquanet is a hypertext tool for people trying to interpret information and organize their ideas, either individually or in groups. The data model consists of basic objects and relations. Every data type definition includes information about its graphical presentation.




ENQUIRE is Tim Berners-Lee’s predecessor of the World Wide Web and lacks many features.

Knowledge Management System (KMS)

KMS is a spatial hypermedia system, originally developed in 1981 as a successor of ZOG. Screen-sized pages (“frames”) are interconnected by links. Frames are fixed-size, space is not the absence of content. Links between frames are unidirectional and start inside the frame. A special datatype is the annotation. There are no separate edit modes, users can edit frames and links if they have the permission. Users can create scripts (presented as frames) that extend the functionality of KMS. A Java-based follow-on is Expeditee.

File Retrieval and Editing System (FRESS)

FRESS is the successor of HES and provides an undo feature. It ran on readily available software and hardware and provides multi-window WYSIWYG editing and bidirectional links without anchors. FRESS uses two types of link: jumps (“links”) and tags (references, footnotes). FRESS automatically generates keyword indices and table of contents. Users can create keywords to structure the contents.


GUIDE is a commercial hypertext system developed in 1982. Beside jumping to destination nodes, it was also possible to “replace” the link text with the contents of the destination.


HyperCard was released with the Apple Macintosh in 1987. It is structured in “stacks”. Each stack contains multiple “cards” which contain information. Users browse the stack by navigating from card to card, searching or using scripts. HyperCard is a mighty tool, it’s even possible to create games with it.


Like the World Wide Web Hyper-G is a system that runs on many connected computers. It provides functionalities similar to the World Wide Web but many more. There are gateways to WWW and other services (like Gopher). The Hyper-G browsers can access the World Wide Web and a few WWW browsers can access Hyper-G databases. The distributed computers of Hyper-G are connected to form one big database and much functionality is integrated into Hyper-G and is uniform on all sites.

Installation Problems
The libraries (such as libm) do not load. We tried creating symbolic links, but Hyper-G does still not load them.

Hypertext Editing System (HES)

HES is the first hypertext system that novices could use. It was developed in 1967 at Brown University by Andries van Dam, Ted Nelson, and some students. It ran on an IBM System/360 Model 50 and was used by NASA’s Houston Manned Spacecraft Center for documentation on the Apollo space program. It’s focus is on text formatting.


Developed in 1985 Intermedia provides bidirectional, dual-anchor links. The navigation information is stored inside the system, not inside the source text. Each user could have his own set of data. Intermedia is a multi-user system with permissions like unix systems.

Konstanz Hypertext System

KHS provides a general, application independent hypertext model and an interaction model (Source).


Microcosm is a system for computer assisted learning. It uses no markup in documents and tries to connect to other applications. The author should not have much effort in creating content and the browsing experience is selective through keywords and descriptions. (Source: Microcosm: A Hypermedia Platform for the Delivery of Learning Material.)


Neptune is a hypertext system for CAD Applications.


NoteCards  has four basic kinds of objects: notecards, links, browser cards, and a filebox. The basic idea is that notecards are connected by typed links to form a schematic network.

oN-Line System (NLS)

Douglas Engelbart’s NLS is a well-known hypertext system presented in the mother of all demos. It supports hypertext links, mouse input, screen windowing, presentation programs, groupware; it is even possible to make a video conference in 1968!



Project Xanadu is a hypertext project since 1960. It uses 17 rules to build it’s software. The program openXanadu was released in 2014 as a “working deliverable”.


ZOG is the predecessor of KMS and uses simple frames containing text and navigation information. ZOG is the pioneer of the “card” metaphor used in popular hypertext systems like KMS and HyperCard.