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3.2.5 Norman Meyrowitz's Intermedia (1985)

  Intermedia , developed at Brown University from 1985 to 1991, was probably the most promising educational hypertext system. Unfortunately, it was only implemented for Apple's version of the UNIX operating system, and in 1991, when funding was discontinued, the system died.

In contrast to KMS, Intermedia was a window-based system. Information was displayed in resizable, scrollable windows. Intermedia used the Macintosh user interface in a very consistent way. The applications which existed within the Intermedia framework included a text editor (InterText), a graphics editor (InterDraw), a scanned image viewer (InterPix), a three-dimensional object viewer (InterSpect), and a timeline editor (InterVal).

Links in Intermedia were bi-directional, which provided link consistency even when a document was deleted. Links were stored in a separate database, which made it possible to add new links without changing the original document. A destination anchor did not necessarily have to be a whole document, like in other systems, but could also be a string in a document. If such a link was selected, the browser would scroll the document, after loading it, until the anchor was visible.

Since Intermedia was built for educational purposes, it provided special features. It supported shared and concurrent access to documents based on a system of access permissions. It allowed users to add new links to documents, or to annotate documents. The new links were then added to the user's WWW to build individual semantic maps.

Intermedia provided two sorts of overview maps. First, the automatically generated WWW view, which was a combination of a history (displayed the path from the start document to the current document) and a local map (displayed the outgoing links of the current document). The second map, an overview document, was created by the author.