CSCI 7818

Topics in Software Engineering: Open Hypermedia

Course Location
   ECCR 122

Course Time
   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

   What's New (Home)
   Class Schedule
   Course Bibliography
   Contact Information
   Evaluation Criteria

What's New

Sunday, December 19, 1999

1:57:16 PM

Final grades are now posted in your on-line status report. It was a fun semester, thanks so much for a great class! Have a great holiday season and a happy new millenium (unless your waiting until 2001 like myself)!

Thursday, December 9, 1999

4:36:08 PM

We are tenatively going to have a demo session on Tuesday, December 14 from 2 PM to 4:30 PM. Let me know via e-mail if you need to schedule a time later next week.

If you have given me a "secret word", your on-line status report is now available. Please check your report and use it to verify that I have graded all of the write-ups that you submitted this semester. If I have missed one, send it to me via e-mail.

I have returned all of the write-ups I have to people's mailboxes. Check your mailbox on the 7th floor to see if I returned a write-up that you had previously submitted.

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

12:14:42 AM

The last day of classes this Semester is December 8th. Finals start on the 10th and run to the 17th. You can give your project demo and hand in your final two page paper anytime between the 8th and the 17th.

Monday, November 22, 1999

11:53:27 AM

Please Note: I am going to end class early tomorrow at 4 PM. We can make up the lost time the following week, if necessary.

The updated ActiveX and C++ APIs are now available.

Sunday, November 21, 1999

11:48:26 PM

Arianne Hinds has also agreed to share her writeups. Thanks a lot, and I hope the rest of the class can benefit from these two examples!

11:27:35 PM

Leroy Guatney has agreed to share some of his write-ups for class. Actually, Leroy sent these write-ups to me quite some time ago, and I have simply been too busy to get them up on the website. My apologies, and I hope you find these useful.

6:16:55 PM

Okay, the new release is now available! Download the new chimera.jar file from the jars directory. In addition, there is a new tar file containing all of the Chimera source code. Please send any questions or bug reports to both Urs and I. BTW, the new version of the hyperweb server is running on In addition, please note: your existing client code will probably have to change. Try compiling your code against the new release, and send any questions to Urs and I. The websUpdated event is gone and is now replaced by openWebs and activeWebs, plus your siteSelected code will also need to change (there is now an extra parameter). The jimage client has been fully updated to work with the new release. Its source code is included in the new source tar file.

Saturday, November 20, 1999

7:25:01 AM

Despite my best intentions the release is still not ready. I had an extremely busy schedule on Friday that prevented me from working on the release full time, and unfortunately, today, I am helping out with the ACM programming contest from 9 AM - 4 PM. I will try to find some time to work on the release today, but it may not be ready until Sunday. My apologies...

Thursday, November 18, 1999

7:18:29 PM

We are still working on integration testing. Its almost there...we are just trying to clear up a problem with adding anchors to links...I hope to have the release up sometime on Friday. Sorry for the delay...

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

8:41:43 PM

The hyperweb server on is temporarily down. I am currently trying to integrate the new chimera server with the new hyperweb server. I expect to be done sometime on Thursday. At that point, we will make a new chimera.jar file, C++ API, and ActiveX control available for you to download, and we will restart the hyperweb server for you to work with.

Sunday, November 14, 1999

2:41:20 PM

There is a new chimera.jar file available for downloading. This jar file does not provide any new functionality, but rather is an attempt to fix problems people were having with the October 22nd version of the chimera.jar file where people were unable to get the Chimera server to run. Please let me know if you have any problems with the new version of the jar file and expect an updated chimera.jar file with new functionality to arrive soon!

Tuesday, November 9, 1999

11:24:00 AM

Wow, I can tell I've been busy, based on the last date I updated the website! My apologies...

Some students reported difficulities obtaining some of the papers for this week from the JoDI website. No problem if you missed one, you can hand your write-ups in at any point in the semester, including old write-ups that you missed previously. Send me mail if you continue to have problems, and I'll get a copy of the paper to you.

An interesting pointer for you today: Ted Nelson is at it again with Embedded Markup Considered Harmful!

Tuesday, October 26, 1999

1:35:07 PM

There are two papers for the last two weeks of class that I wasn't able to include in Course Packet 3. These papers are now available as PDF files. Please download framework.pdf and patterns.pdf and save them for the last two weeks of class.

10:40:51 AM

Course Packet 3 is now available in the bookstore. This packet has readings starting in week 13 since week 12's readings are available on-line.

Wednesday, October 20, 1999

5:26:46 PM

I have made the Chimera source code available. It is currently available in a gzipped tar file. I have asked Chris to create a ZIP file as well. Any questions? Send them to Chris while I'm gone at I will return from my trip on Sunday night...

3:59:27 PM

Instructions for obtaining the ActiveX and C++ interface to Chimera will soon be available. I will try to place the source code up today as well.

The class schedule and bibliography has now been updated. I'm going to place the third and final course packet in the bookstore today. Hopefully, they will have the packet available next week. NOTE: I was unable to include two papers in the packet since the FTP site that they are sitting on is down. So, I'll make those files available here on the class website as soon as I can get copies of them from the author.

11:23:33 AM

I have decided to require all of the papers for next week (you can skip the chapters in the textbook, or skim them) but I have decided to reduce the amount of work in the write-ups. Please write only one paragraph per paper. Use the paragraph to describe the central idea of the paper or to describe the major question you had about the paper. So, please try to get a sense for all of the papers, but please do not spend too much time with the write-ups for this week.

The URL for the Distributed Link Service paper is listed in the course bibliography.

Friday, October 8, 1999

10:34:25 AM

Note: Just to be clear, you still need to do the write-ups for next week. The instructions for setting up Chimera below are meant to get you prepared for working on your projects. It is not meant to replace the write-ups!

Thoughts on next weeks readings: The Davis and Whitehead papers should be read first. They represent two models of integrating clients with open hypermedia systems. They go into more detail on the subject than the HyperDisco paper. The remaining three papers are (broadly) various examples of integration techniques. Example topics for your write-ups: are the models of sufficient quality? Do you understand client integration issues better having read these papers? What sort of integration techniques were presented, and are they covered by the models? Hope this helps!

Wednesday, October 6, 1999

6:53:22 PM

Obtaining Chimera: Okay, I have collected a set of files that you will need to gain access to Chimera on your home computer. Note: I'm assuming that you have the Java Developer's Kit installed on your computer. I used JDK 1.1.8 to create and test this release. JDK 1.2.x should work as well.

Download all of the files contained in the distribution directory. All of the jars are binary files containing java code. The .dtd file is an XML Document Type Definition file for the .xml file contained in the distribution directory.

Configure your java environment to include all of the downloaded jar files in your CLASSPATH. For instance, on a Unix environment, you would need to do something like:

setenv CLASSPATH /home/user/classes/chimera.jar:/home/user/classes/sax.jar:...

Place the .dtd and the .xml file in a new directory or folder called prefs. You must now edit the .xml file to contain path names that match your particular configuration.

In particular, you need to change the following XML tags:

  • DOCTYPE: You need to change the file name to point to the .dtd file on your system.
  • logfile: specify a location for a log file for the chimera server. Do not worry about the existence of the specified file. If the log file does not exist, the chimera server will create a new one.
  • servers: specify a location for a text file that will contain server names. Again, do not worry about the existence of the file at this point.

After you have configured the .xml file, you are ready to launch the chimera server. Use the following command:

java -Dchimera.prefs=file://home/user/prefs/prefs.xml chimera.chimeraServer

Note: you need to change the pathname in the above command to specify the location of your prefs.xml file on your system.

After a short time, the chimera server should appear. Access the Servers menu item and select the Add... command and enter the following value (without the quotes): "". Then select the Servers menu again, and access the new menu item. Selecting this server name, initiates a login process. A dialog box should appear asking for your user name and password. Enter this information (using the values I sent to you in a separate e-mail message) and you should see a dialog box indicating that login is successful.

Once you are logged in, the available hyperwebs pane should fill in with the hyperwebs that I created. These hyperwebs are called web1 and web2. Play around with the user interface. Use the Hyperwebs menu to add and delete your own hyperwebs. In order to activate a hyperweb, select it in the tree and then click on the Select button. It will be added to the list of selected hyperwebs.

Now you can experiement with creating your first link and experiencing your first Chimera link traversal. To do so, you are going to need a directory that contains at least two image files (either .gif or .jpg images). Launch the jimage client with the following command:

java jimage.jimage

The jimage client will launch and should automatically login to your local chimera server. Select the Open Image menu item and select one of your two images. Make sure that you have at least one hyperweb selected. Click and drag on the image to create your first anchor. Open a second image, and click and drag to create a second anchor. Go back to the chimera server window and select the Links pane. Create a new link, give it a name, and select it in the Available Links list. By selecting the link, you make it active. You can return to the jimage client, and right click on one of your anchors. From the resulting menu, select Add Anchor to Link. Go to the other anchor and add it to the link. Finally, click on one of the anchors. The other anchor should start blinking indicating that you have traversed from one image to the other. Try closing one of the two images, and click on the remaining anchor. The other image should appear, again as the result of a link traversal.

Your "homework" assignment for this week is to make sure that you can get Chimera up and running on the computer you plan to use for working on your project and getting the above scenario to work for you. Please send all questions and bug reports to Thanks!

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

5:05:54 PM

Eric Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar": This is the paper I mentioned in class that reflects on the open source software development process. Its an interesting read!

And here is a pointer to the XML-RPC "grass-roots" standard that I mentioned in class.

Monday, October 4, 1999

11:29:35 AM

It is taking me longer to get Chimera ready for release than originally planned. The problem lies at my feet...I've been swamped since my wife and I bought our home last week...I'm going to try to carve out some time this week to get everything packaged up. Again, my apologies...

Friday, October 1, 1999

4:30:26 PM

Okay, good news! With the help of Antonio Carzenega, I have installed KMS on I'll be able to give a KMS demo next week and let people play around with it!

3:06:15 PM

Rob Akscyn has graciously supplied me with a copy of his CHI'88 paper on how a system's data model influences the interactions a user has with a system...more so than the system's user interface. In addition, Rob has also supplied me with a copy of KMS and I will install it so that you can have the opportunity to experience KMS first hand! Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 30, 1999

8:18:32 PM

XML-related websites:

Cafe con Leche

5:02:56 PM

Chris and I are currently working on a new release of the Chimera open hypermedia system. I hope to have a web page with all the relevant details for you late tomorrow or sometime this weekend. Thanks for your patience...

2:23:14 PM

Okay, I've looked at next week's reading. Here are some things to consider while reading these papers:

Tim Berners-Lee's paper: Compare the design goals of the Web with your own experience...what are some of the problems with the Web...finally was there anything about this paper that surprised you?

Fielding, et al.'s paper: This paper's goal is to discuss possible extensions to the Web. How well did it succeed in doing that? Do you think that the proposed extensions are important?

Nürnberg and Ashman's paper: This paper is sort of a detailed argument relating to Nielsen's discussion on the importance of "look and feel" in making something a hypertext system. What do you think of their approach to this paper and what do you think about their arguments?

Whitehead's paper: This paper takes a technique used in economics to examine how control choices in hypermedia systems impact scalability and the users of that system. What did you think of this use of an "outside technique" and what did you think of Whitehead's conclusions?

Remember, these comments and questions are only are free to ignore them...

Wednesday, September 29, 1999

7:07:06 AM

Hi. We will still cover the World Wide Web paper's next week. So please read them and create write-ups for them. So, we will cover the four remaining open hypermedia systems next week, and then move on to the Web-related papers. I will post a mini-discussion of these papers, later today.

Tuesday, September 21, 1999

7:20:16 AM

Check out the new press release for the Google search engine. In particular, look for the section called "Google Search Technology Features", and see how they use the hypertext model they extract from Web pages to aid the search process. In class, we have argued the search engines would have an easier job if the Web had a more explicit hypermedia model.

More info on KMS.

Thursday, September 9, 1999

3:30:08 PM

Remember! No class next week! I'll see you next on September 21st.

Course Packet 2 has been submitted to the bookstore. It should be available sometime next week, but give them a call before you go over there to pick the papers up. Course Packet 2 covers weeks 7 - 11. It turns out that all of the readings for week 12 are on the Web, so they did not need to be included. I will work on Course Packet 3 when I return, which will cover weeks 13-16.

Monday, September 6, 1999

6:01:23 PM

Week 10 is turning into a monster. I may split its readings over two weeks and skip the topic of Hypermedia Pattern languages. We'll make that decision later in the Semester however.

5:59:16 PM

More information on Jakob Nielsen. He has combined his interests in hypermedia and usability to become a leader in the area of Web design and usability.

Tuesday, August 31, 1999

5:29:22 PM

More information on XML:

1:15:04 PM

I will repeat this request in class, but I'll put it here for good measure: Please send me an e-mail message with your name, student id, and e-mail if you are registered or are planning to register for this course. Thanks!

1:06:26 PM

Good News! Course Packet 1 is now available at the bookstore! They managed to clear all copyright hurdles in 4 business days. I'm impressed! Note: the bookstore refers to it as "7818 Reader", and there were seven copies when I was there just before 1 PM today. I don't know this for sure, but I believe the bookstore can print you a copy while you wait if you arrive and there are no more packets on the shelves. So, go get 'em!

Saturday, August 28, 1999

3:41:43 PM

Background information on Doug Engelbart.

Ted Nelson's home page. (Take a deep breath and prepare yourself before viewing!)

Xanadu is now open source.

1:10:43 PM

Course Packets: I gave the CU Bookstore the first six weeks worth of readings on Thursday. They are currently obtaining copyright permission to create the course packet and they hope to have the course packet available for purchase sometime next week. I will post an announcement here when it is available. My apologies for not having this set-up before the semester started.

12:15:58 PM

Note: I fixed the bibliography page. If a reference contained a URL, the URL was not being shown. (It was actually in the page, but due to a mistake in my HTML markup, the browser was ignoring it. I've fixed the HTML and the URLs are now available. Note: your set of readings does not contain the [Bush, 1945] reading. Instead, use the URL to access it on the Web.

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

3:49:03 PM

Okay, the packets are in Pat's office. Unfortunately, Pat had to leave early today. If you come by the office today, then ask Pat Beals Moore to retrieve the packet for you. By the way: In order to save paper, I did not include chapter 2 of the Nelson reading in the handout. I only wanted you to read chapters 0, 1, and 3 anyway. The course packet will contain the full reading. Note for A. Hinds: I followed your voice mail instructions.

2:02:38 PM

Several announcements for this update:

Change in Location for Course: As discussed yesterday in class, we will be holding all future class sessions in the CAPP Lab Conference Room (ECCR 122). The class time remains unchanged: Tuesdays from 2 PM - 4:30 PM.

Extra class session:: In order to make up the class that will be missed during the 4th week of class, we will hold two class sessions during week 5 of the Semester. We will meet on Tuesday, September 21st as normal, but we will also meet on Wednesday, September 22nd from 1 PM - 3:30 PM in the CAPP Lab Conference Room. We will discuss week 4's readings on the 21st and week 5's readings on the 22nd.

Confused? (Me too!) Essentially, you should be reading the papers for September 21st during the 3rd week of class and the papers for September 22nd during the 4th week of class.

Course Packets: I will be creating a course packet for the class that will contain all of the readings for the course. You will be able to purchase the packet at the CU Bookstore at the UMC. Unfortunately, these packets will not be available until sometime next week, so in order to make the readings for the first week available, I'll be making copies of the first week's readings and I'll be giving them to Pat Libhart, the department secretary. Pat's office is in ECOT 717, you will need to swing by the department during business hours to pick up the readings. Be sure to ask Pat nicely! She's greatly overworked and really appreciates people who are polite to her!

I will post another announcement on this website when I have the readings available in Pat's office. I will also update the website to reflect the other changes above.

Monday, August 23, 1999

10:53:55 AM

I will have the first week's readings available in the file cabinet outside ECOT 717 sometime tomorrow morning. Note: this folder will contain a single double-sided xerox copy of each reading. You should plan to stop by the folder, pick up the papers, make copies of them for yourself, and then return the originals to the folder. Also, be aware that one reading [Bush, 1945] is available on the WWW. See the Bibliography for details. In my experience, Internet Explorer 4.5 for the Mac is the best Web browser for printing Web documents. It offers a print preview function and a "shrink to fit" option, so that you don't waste pages when printing.

Special Instructions: This reading is for next week's class. Start Early! There is quite a bit of material to cover. For [Nelson, 1987], be sure to read chapters 0, 1, and 3, completely. You only need to skim chapter 2 (which is the longest part of that reading). Any questions, send mail to the instructor. See you tomorrow in class!

Monday, August 9, 1999

9:58:15 AM

The class schedule and bibliography are being fleshed out. I still have some references to add to both sections, but the overall shape of the course is taking form.

Monday, August 2, 1999

2:55:21 PM

The class site for CSCI 7818 is now taking shape. I'm really looking forward to this semester. Students taking this class will come away with a "state-of-the-art" perspective on the field of hypermedia and will have experience applying hypermedia techniques to software development tasks. Take a look at the other pages for a course overview. This page will be used for news and updates concerning the class. Note: Try to get the textbook early...send me mail if you have problems getting it.

© Ken Anderson, 1999.
Last Updated: 8/16/00; 2:47:12 PM