Note: This program works only on a Macintosh computer.
I. BRIEF OVERVIEW OF STRUCTURE AND CONTENT:
Writing Spaces is the hypertext version of Jay David Bolter's printed text of the same name. Rather than being limited to the linear structure of a printed book, Bolter considers electronic text a network of topics and links, thereby eliminating any type of hierarchical structure. Some benefits of this structure are that no paragraphs are subordinate to others, and the text can be animated by several different voices that argue contradictory ideas. The hypertext not only shadows the print version, presenting paragraphs from the text, but provides notes that expand on particular ideas which Bolter did not have space for in the conventional text. Keep in mind that this program is best used for randomly jumping around screens, following trains of thought that lead away from a linear reading process. If you are interested in a structured, hierarchical text, then you would be better served by the print version of the work.
II. STARTING UP WRITING SPACES:
Take the Writing Spaces: A Hypertext disk from its box and insert it into the disk drive. Double-click on the following items:
- The Writing Spaces icon which appears on the main screen after inserting the disk in the drive;
- Then the "Writing Spaces Folder" icon which will appear on a subordinate screen;
- Then the"Writing Space: A Hypertext" icon which will appear on a subordinate screen with a snowflake symbol.
If you do not see these icons, please ask a staff member for assistance.
The program should begin with a series of screens explaining the hypertext and what the various signs and symbols represent. Click on the snowflakes to proceed through the screens.
III. USING WRITING SPACES:
The program is broken down into two primary texts which dictate the means of navigation.
- The First Text is the conventional version that follows the hierarchical structure of the printed book. There are two ways to navigate the structured work:
- Doubleclicking on the sign comprised of three arrowheads will take you to the next page of the text.
- Doubleclicking on any sign or phrase that appears in Boldface also takes you to the next page of the text.
- The Second Text is based on a random structure of screens that can be located anywhere in the text. There is one way to navigate the unstructured work:
- Doubleclick on the opposing arrows sign (two connected arrows, with the one on top pointing to the right and the one on the bottom pointing to the left) to go anywhere in the text.
- To return to a previous page, hold down the command key (the one with the apple) and press delete.
The Writing Spaces program allows its readers to add new links and commentary - or to emend the standard text - making the experience interactive. However, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE EMENDATIONS OR ADD ANYTHING TO THE E-TEXT VERSION OF WRITING SPACE. If you would like to use the program interactively, you need to make a copy of it onto your own disk!
IV. EXITING THE PROGRAM:
- Click on Reader located on the toolbar in the upper-left corner of the screen.
- Click on Done located below Reader.
- The computer will query you about saving your work. Remember: DO NOT SAVE ANYTHING ON THE E-TEXT VERSION OF WRITING SPACE.
- Close the two Writing Space windows.
- Place the Writing Space icon in the Trash and the disk will eject.