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  • Translator: Camille Martínez Reviewer: Krystian Aparta

  • I remember thinking to myself,

  • "This is going to change everything about how we communicate."

  • [Small thing.]

  • [Big idea.]

  • [Margaret Gould Stewart on the Hyperlink]

  • A hyperlink is an interface element,

  • and what I mean by that is,

  • when you're using software on your phone or your computer,

  • there's a lot of code behind the interface

  • that's giving all the instructions for the computer on how to manage it,

  • but that interface is the thing that humans interact with:

  • when we press on this, then something happens.

  • When they first came around, they were pretty simple

  • and not particularly glamorous.

  • Designers today have a huge range of options.

  • The hyperlink uses what's called a markup language -- HTML.

  • There's a little string of code.

  • And then you put the address of where you want to send the person.

  • It's actually remarkably easy to learn how to do.

  • And so, the whole range of references to information elsewhere on the internet

  • is the domain of the hyperlink.

  • Back when I was in school --

  • this is before people had wide access to the internet --

  • if I was going to do a research paper,

  • I would have to physically walk to the library,

  • and if they had the book that you needed, great.

  • You sometimes had to send out for it,

  • so the process could take weeks.

  • And it's kind of crazy to think about that now,

  • because, like all great innovations,

  • it's not long after we get access to something

  • that we start to take it for granted.

  • Back in 1945,

  • there was this guy, Vannevar Bush.

  • He was working for the US government,

  • and one of the ideas that he put forth was,

  • "Wow, humans are creating so much information,

  • and we can't keep track of all the books that we've read

  • or the connections between important ideas."

  • And he had this idea called the "memex,"

  • where you could put together a personal library

  • of all of the books and articles that you have access to.

  • And that idea of connecting sources captured people's imaginations.

  • Later, in the 1960s,

  • Ted Nelson launches Project Xanadu,

  • and he said,

  • "Well, what if it wasn't just limited to the things that I have?

  • What if I could connect ideas across a larger body of work?"

  • In 1982, researchers at the University of Maryland

  • developed a system they called HyperTIES.

  • They were the first to use text itself as a link marker.

  • They figured out that this blue link on a gray background

  • was going to work really well in terms of contrast,

  • and people would be able to see it.

  • Apple invented HyperCard in 1987.

  • You had these stacks of cards,

  • and you could create links in between the cards.

  • HyperCard actually created the ability to jump around in a story.

  • These kinds of notions of nonlinear storytelling

  • got a huge boost when the hyperlink came along,

  • because it gave people the opportunity to influence the narrative.

  • These ideas and inventions, among others,

  • inspired Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

  • The hyperlink almost feels like a LEGO block,

  • this very basic building block to a very complex web of connections

  • that exists all around the world.

  • Because of the way that hyperlinks were first constructed,

  • they were intended to be not only used by many people,

  • but created by many people.

  • To me, it's one of the most democratic designs ever created.

Translator: Camille Martínez Reviewer: Krystian Aparta

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A2 US TED hyperlink interface big idea access idea

【TED】Margaret Gould Stewart: How the hyperlink changed everything (How the hyperlink changed everything | Small Thing Big Idea, a TED series)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2018/11/03
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