Navigation through large hyperdocuments is one of the most difficult problems facing the WWW and Internet community. In this course I have given thought to this and am asking consulatnts and others to start from the following ideas. (Of course this is likely to change as we get feedback :-).

The course is based on the normal structure of a book with a serial progression through parts and frequent reference to others. Where possible it is broken into modules (which may often be produced completely by a consultant group). Within each module the authors are asked to give clear signs as to where the reader is and how and when they can exit from that module or return to it.

In a traditional book there are chapters, sections, subsections, etc. This scheme is very well supported by the LaTeX language (for preparing documents and books) and parts of this course may be prepared with it using latex2html. In any case authors are asked to prepare links to sections/subsections and the return where appropriate.

At other points the authors may point the reader to external URLs (e.g. databases and hypertext manuals). They are urged to give the user signals that they are leaving VSNS-PPS. Similarly, pages should carry signals to show readers that they are (back) in the course.

I hope that we can communally prepare a glossary of terms and an index. This is a challenging task but achievable with will and discipline. If properly done (e.g. with latex2html) it is easy to offer this glossary to the rest of the world.

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pmr for pps
Sept 18 1994