After a lot of time there has been a development which tries to improve on the original purpose of Web. Hyperscope is an implementation of Open Hyperdocument System (OHS), vision of the legendary Doug Engelbart. OHS aims at bridging together the different knowledge tools with common capabilities in an interoperable way. This will provide the environment for enhancing the productivity of collaborative knowledge work. oNLine System/AUGMENT is an OHS prototype owned by McDonnell Douglas and has had an impact on Hyperscope.

What is Hyperscope?

One of the dictionary meanings of hyper is

Linked or arranged nonsequentially, as in, hypertext

Hyperscope is a Web application that tries to leverage this to make reading documents more efficient.

The HyperScope is a high-performance thought processor that enables you to navigate, view, and link to documents in sophisticated ways.

Hyperscope improves upon what we have today by using links for additional two purposes:

  • granular access within documents which can provide their locations
  • embed viewing options along with the locations

This means that while reading a document you can jump to different locations rather than scroll and choose the way you want to view the document. Check out this demo + tutorial. Click on the Help button ton the top to understand what Hyperscope provides. Clicking on the Turbo Mode on the top right will provide you the command mode for experts which supports the AUGMENT commands. Click on the Jump button and you can jump to the paragraph by specifying its number, which you can see on the right side of every paragraph. Here are some more demo documents.

In essence, Hyperscope lets me read the same document that you read today, but lets you have viewing options using Viewing Specifications or ViewSpecs and provides links to granular content in the document.

Hyperscope is just the first step towards OHS. It is looking for contribution from the community to explore more and better ways of improving the collaboriative knowledge work field. Go and read the five big ideas to understand the basic principles behind Hyperscope.

How is it done?

For the techie minds, Hyperscope uses JavaScript using the Dojo Toolkit, OPML as the base file format. It works in Firefox and Internet Explorer but recommends the former. Brad Neuberg, the lead developer, has proactively justified all his design decisions.

Unlike today’s popular tagline of being extremely easy and user friendly, Hyperscope has a learning curve. But every new and revoluationary approach does have a learning curve. The good thing is that Hyperscope targets the experts along with the newbies. It attempts at building an expert system and that will drive the productivity high.

If you feel like digging more into it go and join the fast growing community.

More reading:

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Brad Neuberg said:

    Nice blog post! Tell me more about the things you hack on. BTW, nifty thumbnails of all the remote hyperlinks on your site when you hover the mouse over a link.

    Brad Neuberg

  2. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Hi Brad,

    Thanks. I hack in anything that I find interesting 🙂 I found a ready-made script for thumbnails on the net and built a plugin for WordPress to insert the required script.

  3. Exhibit on iface thoughts said:

    […] The project has good documentation, the tutorials are in-depth. It also includes examples of building exhibits from spreadsheets and bibtex files. Give it a try. Like Hyperscope and endless pageless experience, it is a genuine application of JavaScript. […]

  4. Hyperscope Update on iface thoughts said:

    […] Brad Neuberg has announced a Hyperscope update. This is a project I think that might revolutionize the way we read on web. I was really glad to have come across it earlier. Hyperscope uses OPML as a base format. With this release, a HTML Transformer can bring HTML documents without having to mark them up in OPML. If you have not experienced it yet, give it a try. […]

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
+91 9819820312
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