Hypertextual Ultrastructures:
Movement and Containment in Texts and Hypertexts
Hypertextual Ultrastructures:  Movement and Containment Among Texts and Hypertexts

This is just a sample. To put it in context, visit Hypertextual Ultrastructures' home page for an abstract, the full Table of Contents, and a link to the full text of my dissertation.

Hypertextual Ultrastructures is a dissertation in the English department, so it is full of words, I promise. It's also crowded with illustrations: although I write in English, I dream in color. Follow the links in this list to see some samples.


  • Figure 1 Frequency of MLA-indexed articles on "ink" 1937-2007.
  • Figure 2 Frequency of MLA-indexed articles on markup languages 1987-2007.
  • Figure 3 Google News claims about a Voice of America story.
  • Figure 4 Relating three models of errors introduced as texts change.
  • Figure 5 Containment error: variable-size text in fixed-size containers.
  • Figure 6 Containment error: readability changes as user-selected text size changes.
  • Figure 7 Containment error: extreme increase in text size improves visibility but degrades readability.
  • Figure 8 Containment error: increased text size eliminates access to navigational links.
  • Figure 9 Basic layout of Google News, showing multiple layers of containerization.
  • Figure 10 Containment error: software error message in location intended for story text.
  • Figure 11 Containment error: guidance to email sender in location intended for story text.
  • Figure 12 Containment error: caption in location intended for story text.
  • Figure 13 Containment error: serious text inappropriately combined with humorous image.
  • Figure 14 Web page warns that going elsewhere creates risk.
  • Figure 15 Web pages showing errors in representation of special characters.
  • Figure 16 Hypertext varies when viewed offline (L), online (R), or as plain text.
  • Figure 17 Invention and publication are at different distances from each other for digital blog (top) and manuscript play (bottom).
  • Figure 18 WordPress blog using "Pixeled" (top) and "Gear" (bottom) themes.
  • Figure 19 From a public collection of WordPress themes, the webmaster installs several and activates one.
  • Figure 20 Conventional Help—About responses identify the software version and a source of support.
  • Figure 21 Portion of a README file.
  • Figure 22 Software within its context of supporting documentation.
  • Figure 23 Spider diagram comparing two versions of a hypothetical hypertext.
  • Figure 24 For technical documentation, a whirlpool diagram shows multiple possible lines of descent.
  • Figure 25 Hypertext [1.0] weights "hypertext" and "text" similarly.
  • Figure 26 Hypertext 2.0 weights "hypertext" most heavily.
  • Figure 27 Hypertext 3.0 widens the gap between "hypertext" and all other ideas.
  • Figure 28 Bead diagram tracks changes in structure among three versions.
  • Figure 29 Bead diagram shows re-structuring of contents of original Chapter 1 in three versions.
  • Figure 30 HTML source statements and the Web page they define.
  • Figure 31 Three rows of a table look similar but differ internally.
  • Figure 32 Ultrastructural differences affect matters other than the appearance of the table.
  • Figure 33 Parts list for the 3-row table includes 6 images and 7 styles.
  • Figure 34 Pasting a Web page into a Word page causes loss of sub-surface components.
  • Figure 35 Properly-formatted iCalendar Web page (top) becomes improperly-formatted electronic mail.
  • Figure 36 StatCounter data showing use of commercial Web page by academic visitors.
  • Figure 37 Disrupting illustration with commercial text reduces its attractiveness to non-commercial visitors.
  • Figure 38 Digital copy reports on its name and location.
  • Figure 39 Evidence of portable copy, copy submitted to translator, and copy on desktop.
  • Figure 40 Machine translation of English page to Russian cannot translate words embedded in images.
  • Figure 41 A Talmud page (L) protects the central text; a wiki page (R) exposes the central text to change.
  • Figure 42 In a layered collaboration, contributors of broad categories are identified.
  • Figure 43 An administrator's view of a forum posting includes tools for deleting or altering it.
  • Figure 44 Six-month history of the English-language Wikipedia page on "namespace."
  • Figure 45 Collaboration in a wiki page can move the text forward and backward in time.
  • Figure 46 Database records contain three revisions of a blog posting.
  • Figure 47 User-selected human language (English) placed in software-defined containers.
  • Figure 48 A visitor's choice of action (logoff) and language (English) dictates the content of the Web page.
  • Figure 49 Multiple layers of substitution into placeholders allow human language to be presented with other user-specific data.
  • Figure 50 Firefox users optionally allow Web pages to use the colors and fonts specified by their designers.
  • Figure 51 Code in logoff.php calls for externally-controlled components.
  • Figure 52 A Web page designed for mediation by a desktop computer is unusable on a mobile device.
  • Figure 53 A properly-prepared Web page can recognize inappropriate use and suggest alternatives.
  • Figure 54 Successful design for mobile devices brings most-used components to the strongest positions.
  • Figure 55 File properties identify one photograph as the original and the other as a modification.
  • Figure 56 HTML (top) formats content for display by a Web browser; PCL (bottom) formats the same content for a printer.
  • Figure 57 Order in the New York Times digital archive (L) is unlike the print edition (R).
  • Figure 58 Chicago Tribune's report of lynchings is organized chronologically.
  • Figure 59 Wells’ report of lynchings categorizes accusations made against lynching victims.
  • Figure 60 Instructions relate to human handling of a paper form created by this electronic form.



  • Table 1 List of MLA-indexed articles on "HTML" 1937-2007.
  • Table 2 Some digital representations of non-digital texts warn users not to expect perfection.
  • Table 3 A blog's brain, skin, and voice are separately authored and versioned.
  • Table 4 Numerical comparison of two versions of a hypothetical hypertext.
  • Table 5 Bead labels match section names in Tables of Contents.
  • Table 6 Labels of square beads match subsection names in Tables of Contents.
  • Table 7 Components used in a Web page can exist elsewhere.
  • Table 8 List of academic visitors to commercial Web page during one 12-hour period.
  • Table 9 Five models of collaboration: aggregated, centrifugal, centripetal, collective, encapsulated.
  • Table 10 Four models of collaboration: focused, holistic, inspired, layered.
  • Table 11 Six models of collaboration: moderated, modular, personalized, structured, threaded, weighted.
  • Table 12 Granular description of multiple kinds of variability demonstrated in one dynamic Web page.


Hypertextual Ultrastructures:  Movement and Containment Among Texts and Hypertexts