Hypertextual Media

While some of the most influential literary hypertexts were created in programs like Eastgate System's Storyspace designed to let you read through a locally stored text, these days a majority of computer users have far easier access to the internet than to such programs. Web media, though a rapidly developing field, lacks a lot of the built-in ease of Storyspace. There are no intrinsic equivalents to one-to-many links and visualized story webs in XHTML or CSS, much less even more adaptable elements like randomly targeted links.

Fixing the Problem

Web media has great potential for hypertextual fiction, poetry or even informational material. Authors are already pushing the boundaries of CSS design, JavaScript and graphical work. A few simple scripts and tricks can create much more elaborate possibilities. This portion of the site is dedicated to providing demos and how-to instructions for several different JavaScript and CSS tricks:

Random Links

Randomly targeted hyperlinks could easily lead to disorientation within a document, but if properly used and thought out they could also create an amorphous text, a different simulacrum with every reading. A how-to in simple JavaScript.

One-to-Many Linking

being able to choose the destination, rather than simply follow a set path of links, gives much greater control to the reader. A great deal of emphasis seems to be placed on this reader empowerment in discussions of hypermedia, so what better way to realize it than implementing a way to choose multiple destinations from what otherwise appears to be a traditional, one-way link?

Stylesheet Manipulation

Use of CSS gives significant power to a page's layout, but subtle changes can create even more nuances to a design. Slightly more complicated JavaScript makes it easy to switch from one stylesheet to another, giving the user a much greater ability to customize a page's appearance.


Nicholas Friesner developed a JavaScript method called "stretch-text" that allowed clicking on bolded words in a text to trigger the appearance of further text. The primary benefit of this is being able to expand a text without needing to link to another page. I unfortunately discovered his code relies on what is technically illegal HTML, so I did not streamline the code as originally planned. A quick fix would not have been enough to bring it up to date. This section may be finished later, when I have time to re-write the function itself. In the meantime, his original code is made available, and the function is still useable, just not if you fully conform to web standards

Graphical Effects

The possibilities extend beyond traditional markup, stylesheets and code. Many interesting effects can be found using graphical programs like Macromedia Flash, or even simple .png files. Explaining how to use Flash is far beyond the scope of this project, so this section is mostly a set of links, notes on possible creative uses, and brief explanations of method where appropriate.

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Stylesheets: Dark | Dark (No Links) | Simple Dark | Owen Style (Light) | Light Side | Plain Text Style