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The Space of Interactive Text

The Space of Interactive Text

This is the document view of the Text Space Concept Map I am evolving. This document will evolve with the CM but it will have to be done manually so I cannot guarantee it will always synch completely, something which highlights the need for a document format which feature Word Processor and Concept Map views, at the users request.

The Text Space is continuously updated on my blog at Note that this is a link to a category in WordPress, not a single blog post so following this link will always show the latest version on top.

The spacings in this post are horrible but WordPress simply let won’t be fix them :-(


Phases of Academic Text Interaction


This overview is of text use in academia primarily and as such the phases of text used in writing a document (thesis, report, paper etc.) is an important aspect of the interactive text system, since the whole system needs to serve this workflow:


•  Literature Review is the phase of work when the user is reading documents and likely annotating them

•  Writing Notes is where the user writes down thoughts somewhere

•  Thinking is the phase where the user is actively thinking and using the available information and interactions to augment the thinking 

•  Writing Document refers to the text entering to the document which does include some editing 

•  Editing Document is the work of primarily editing the document where some writing is also done

•  Reviewing Document reviewing the document for polish, using systems to ensure clarity and credibility

•  Publishing Document to the academic community

Writing Mode

The mental mode of the user when writing the text – not authoring, only when entering text into the system:


•  Quick refers to getting the information from the users head to a document as quickly as possible.

•  Organized means entering information in an ordered fashion to save time later and to think about the evolving structure of the text.

Interrogation Mode

The mental mode of the user when reading/interacting with the text:


•  Browsing is a mode where the user is passively going through information, skimming and only taking in what appears to be of interest

•  Passively Reading is when the reader reads the text but makes no real effort to analyse or remember anything, such as when reading a basic work of fiction

•  Active Reading for specific knowledge extraction is based on Craig Tashman’s thesis (Craig S Tashman, which is outlined in this blog post:

•  Planning is reading for a specific reason to enable actions to happen

•  Basic Information Acquisition is reading to learn how to carry out a specific (primarily linear) task, with little cognitive effort required

•  Stimulation/Inspiration is reading not for information as such but to change the mood of the reader

•  Reading ‘through’ to understand intent/author’s mindset is an analysis where the text is indicative of what the reader is interested in but not explicit conveying the information



•  Authoring primarily for authoring 

•  Editor primarily for editing

•  Reader primarily for reading 

•  Browser primarily for casual browsing

•  Multi-Modal can change mode



Notes on where the actual text data (and other associated data) is stored:

Local Machine

•  Document means stored on the users hard drive as a document

•  Database means stored in a database on the users machine

Owned Cloud


•  Document means stored in the users cloud, in the form of a document 

•  Database means stored in the users cloud, in a database


•  Document means stored as a document on an internet accessible server

•  Database means stored in a database on an internet accessible server


How the text is presented to the user, as a document, 



•  Hybrid WP & CM a document format which allows for toggling between Word Processing views and Concept Map views

•  Concept Map a non-linear layout 

•  Word Processing traditional scrolling text document format

•  Hand Written 

•  Note Management 

•  Spreadsheet 

•  Frozen/Paginated/PDF 

•  Citation Management

Database Interaction


•  Owned and controlled by the user

•  Accessible/Web accessible but not owned nor controlled by the user



•  Cited with further context 

•  Forks 

•  Updates 

•  Translations 


Concerns the units of text presented to the user:


•  Document the user sees the text in a document

•  Card/Note the user sees the text in a card/note which is a smaller ‘box’ on the screen

•  Node the user sees the text in a node in a Concept/Mind Map or hypertext overview

•  ‘Page’/‘Screen’ the user sees the text in on a screen on in a page with no immediate visual reference to a container  

•  Cuttings meaning that which is in the users Clipboard (regular or multiple) or which has been moved away from the main use area.

Visual Elements



•  Character 

•  Word 

•  Sentence 

•  Statement 

•  Paragraph 

•  Chapter 

•  Section


•  Equations 

•  Numbers


•  Time References 

•  Geographic References

Other Media 


•  Pictures 

•  Image Graphs 

•  Interactive Graphs 

•  Video 

•  Diagram (symbolic) 

•  Chart (visual)

Embedded Metadata

Automatically Generated 




•  Creation Time 

•  Source 

•  etc.



•  Trails of where the user has navigated, possibly with more information per node, such as time, physical location and more


This is the category of user-added information to the main text body: 


•  Citations. Something addressable in the World which is referred to in the body of text

•  Annotations. Thoughts about Something in the World 

•  Comments. Thoughts about Something in Our Work



•  Typographic 

•  Like 

•  Important

•  etc. 

User/Automatically Generated


Meta information which can be attached through automation or manual means:

Conceptual Components

Conceptual components in the text:


•  Filling 

•  Clerical 

•  Contextual 

•  Colour 

•  Assertions 

•  Ideas 

•  Analysis


•  Utterance: A stretch of speech usually preceded and followed by a pause or by a change of speaker. 

•  Pause: A perceived pause within or between utterances. 

•  Vocal: A vocalized but not necessarily lexical phenomenon (e.g. voiced pauses). 

•  Kinesic: Any communicative phenomenon, not necessarily vocalized (e.g. a gesture). 

•  Event: Any phenomenon or occurrence, not necessarily vocalized or communicative (e.g. incidental noises). 

•  Writing: A passage of written text revealed to participants in the course of a spoken text. 

•  Shift: Marks the point at which there is a change in some paralinguistic feature.

(For Voice Based Constituents:


•  Source. High resolution link to sections in the original media corresponding to the transcription, or a simple URL to the media document




•  Summary 

•  Writing Level 

•  Word Count  

•  Context Extraction so that the system and user can know what was around the text

•  School of Thought 

•  Named Entity Recognition 

•  Gramatical Markup 

•  Semantic Analysis 

•  Concept Extraction 

•  Sentiment Analysis 

•  Alignment with recorded speech media



•  Machine Learning 

•  Statistical Analysis 

•  Linguistics




•  Views can show elements or hide them

Designed By


•  Reader Only – designed views where not even a typeface is encoded in the source text

•  Reader Adjustments – where the reader can adjust the view design based on what the Author and/Or Editor has set

•  Editor Only – the Editor of the text is fully in control of the view

•  Author Only –  the Author of the text is fully in control of the view



•  Synopsis 

•  Tables  

•  Link Map

•  Keyword Based 

•  Graphs 

•  Outline 

•  Concept Map 

•  Full Text


   Operations On Text


•  Search 

•  Reference Look-Up 

•  Conversions 

•  Translations 

•  Copy/Move 

•  Cut 

•  Reformat 

•  Share 

•  Execute *View* Change


    – None/Frozen Supports no views beyond the default view

    – Typographic Only supports changing of font and colour etc. 

    – Layout supports changing the layout of the text, including what information to show

    – Deep Tag Support Supports tags beyond the visible text and interactions through them

    – Layers Supports Showing different layers of the text

    – Audience Specific Supports showing different versions depending on the audience needs automatically

Interaction Means


•  Criteria Based 

•  Direct on elements

•  Control Interfaces

    – Manual ‘drag & drop’/click

    – Keyboard Shortcuts

    – Gestures

    – Voice 


Please note that the elements set out below can be combined for dramatically more power. 

HTML Attributes

Attributes of the link, including:

•  ID. An SGML identifier used as the target for hypertext links or for naming particular elements in associated style sheets. Identifiers are NAME tokens and must be unique within the scope of the current document. This attribute supercedes the “NAME” attribute.  

•  LANG. Gives a choice of languages available at the destination 

•  CLASS. This a space separated list of SGML NAME tokens and is used to subclass tag names.

•  HREF. The HREF attribute implies that the anchor acts as the start of a hypertext link

•  MD. Discussed in the section Source/Identity 

•  NAME. This attribute is used to define a named anchor for use as the destination of hypertext links

•  SHAPE. This attribute is used within figures to define shaped hotzones for graphical hypertext links/image map

•  TITLE. This is informational only and describes the object specified with the HREF attribute 

•  REL. Used to describe the relationship of the linked object specified with the HREF attribute. The set of relationship names is not part of this specification, although “Path” and “Node” are reserved for future use with hypertext paths or guided tours. The REL attribute can be used to support search for links serving particular relationships

•  REV. This defines a reverse relationship. A link from document A to document B with REV=relation expresses the same relationship as a link from B to A with REL=relation

For attributes:



•  A Database of links to see and analyse which links go where. 



•  Timid/Eager “A number of early hypertext formalisms envisioned a multi-pane or multi-window collage of panes in which specified transitions  might occurs as soon as their preconditions were met. Tim Oren’s GUIDES, for example, embodied animated characters who could, through gesture or expression, indicate willingness to discuss a topic raised in the text [39], and the generalization of this formalism to encompass arguments among the guides  themselves was readily foreseen.” (Bernstein,

•  Adaptive Navigation provides different link options depending on the readers skill, knowledge, preferences or other criteria

•  Programmed Destination provides different link options depending on internal or external factors

•  Random Destination can be set to open a random location/load random text from a search engine or from a contained list:

•  Shark Link. “Storyspace 3 extends the $Requirements mechanism by providing shark links. If a note’s requirements are satisfied, Storyspace additionally checks to see if any shark links lead away from the  note. If an outbound shark link exists and if it can be followed – if its guard field and its destination’s $Requirements are satisfied – then the shark link is followed immediately. Suppose that a character is to board a steamship, and that it is necessary that we actually see them purchasing a ticket. If they already have purchased a  ticket, they may proceed on board. If the reader’s trajectory has  no yet encompassed a scene in which the character obtains a ticket, a shark link may interpolate here a trip to the ticket office.  ” (Bernstein,

•  Subtle/Strong can be indicated through visual design and animations or through being highlighted in layout

Tagged As


•  Providing Further Info 

•  Alternative 

•  Disagreeing 

•  Etc.



•  High Resolution 

•  Low Resolution



An implicit link is one which is not tagged to the text but which can conceptually thought of by the user and programatically called forth by the system, such looking a word up in a glossary:

•  Image Search 

•  Web/Google 

•  Glossary 

•  Wikipedia 

•  Etc.



Explicit links are what we are familiar as ‘regular’ HTTP link style. 

•  Link to a location. 


Smart Links

•  Link to Search Criteria to show everything in a search result

•  Link to Tags to show everything with specific tags

•  Link to Date Ranges to show everything within specific time periods

•  Link to View Specifications to present the source in a specific way (see *Views*)



•  Location

    – Takes over Screen as when clicking a standard link in a Web Browser

    – Tab opens in a new tab in the same window

    – New Window

    – As StretchText. StretchText is similar to outlining, however instead of drilling down lists to greater detail, the current node is replaced with a newer node. This “stretching” to increase the amount of writing, or to contract it gives the feature its name. This is analogous to zooming in to get more detail. (Wikipedia)

    – Inline in other text (“transclusion”) 

•  Method

    – Click on link /text/image

    – Open on local/cloud system through an Open Dialog or through double clicking on a document in the Finder/Desktop

    – Search using a search engine to bring the required text forth

    – View change to allow other aspects of the text to appear or hide

    – Image map. Click on an area in an image.


Where explicit Links are visible and clickable, there are also other ways the text can refer to other text by being connected to it, through means which the digital system may be able to facilitate:


•  Dimensional based on any accessible dimension such as time and date, location, size and so on 

•  Visible whether the connection is visible, such as in a Concept Map view, from user’s manual connecting or based on some criteria (above) or just something in the users head


Concerns how the elements in the text can be addresses and thus be referred to by other text:


•  *Resolutions* is the aspect of the addressability which concerns whether the addressing is for the container document, paragraph or other granularity. (The ** means that this section refers to the full section Resolutions elsewhere on the map)

•  Absolute URL as regular internet Uniform Resource Locator

•  Relative URL with a description of the relative path through directories from link text/button to anchor

•  Full Text Search unique enough text that it can be found through a Google/Bing internet search 

•  Meta-Tag by having searchable meta-information attached

•  Paths Relative paths through a uses journey (Vannevar Bush’s Paths (Bush,

•  None No digital addressability available/possible. The text can be accessed through other means such as walking across the room and plugging in a memory stick, but not through digital interaction 

•  Link Rotten. Not able to locate addressed document


Where the text originates from:



  Checksum Support Specifies a message digest (MD) or cryptographic checksum for the linked document designated by the HREF attribute. It is used when you want to be sure that a linked object is indeed the same one that the author intended, and hasn’t been modified in any way. For instance: MD=”md5:jV2OfH+nnXHU8bnkPAad/mSQlTDZ”, which specifies an MD5 checksum encoded as a base64 character string. The MD attribute is generally allowed for all elements which support URI based links. for more on this, including the section on Link/Attributes.

•  Title of document or page



•  Citations from a reference source with access information and citation meta-data

•  Copied as plain text from a source the author did not create

User Authored


•  Pasted from remote or near location which the user created

•  Moved from another location the user created/owns, such as through drag and drop 

•  Referred to from other document/location through link or drag and drop or the means

•  Typed manually using a keyboard

•  Voice Transcription by speaking to the system or from a video or audio recording  

Published inInteractive Text Space DiagramPhDThoughts

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