Reading the World Wide Web

Associative Structures

Texts on the Web are structured in a more associative manner than traditional print texts. Information is displayed using nodes and links. A node is a chunk of information. it may be a page, a paragraph, a sentence, or a character. A node can even be a graphic. A link is a connection between nodes. You will often see links represented in blue underlined text that turns purple after you visit that link, these are the default colors. links will not always appear this way, often times links are buttons or graphics.

There are three basic structures of links and nodes that Web documents usually follow. Every document may not resemble wholly one of these structures but may contain elements of any number of these structures.

Linear Structures

A linear structure is much like turning th pages of a book, you can move through the text in two directions forward and backwards.  Nodes and links are arranged in a linear pattern.

This is a model of a linear strucutre.

N— N— N— N— N— N

"N" represents a node and "—" represents a link.

Hierarchic Structures

A hierarchic structure

This is a model of a heirarchic strucutre.

Hierarch Model

"N" represents a node and "—" represents a link.

Web-like Structures

A Web-like structure has no apparent structure. Nodes may be linked to a variety of other nodes.  If you imagine each node as a particular Web-site, the World Wide Web is structured this way.

This is a model of a Web-like strucutre.

Web-like Structure Example

"N" represents a node and "—" represents a link.

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Introduction