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Hypertext: The Next Maintenance Mountain
December 1998 (vol. 31 no. 12)
pp. 49-55

For many organizations today, maintaining hypertext documents is becoming a burdensome task in its own right. The development process for hypertext documents is also starting to resemble that of software, with increasingly complex analysis of hypertext documents' ability to meet an organization's needs, well-planned design and implementation, and follow-up testing for consistency and effectiveness.

Software maintenance is a major problem, and hypertext documents share many of the characteristics of software. Yet according to the authors' review of the summaries of 52 Web development tools, only six contained maintenance related terms or features.

The situation is made more critical because Web development has attracted a mixed community of professional and nonprofessional developers.

In this article, the authors compare the characteristics of software and hypertext documents. They derive lessons from software development that can be applied to the creation and maintenance of hypertext documents, in terms of structure, reuse, testing, version management, development tools, and development processes.

Citation:
Pearl Brereton, David Budgen, Geoff Hamilton, "Hypertext: The Next Maintenance Mountain," Computer, vol. 31, no. 12, pp. 49-55, Dec. 1998, doi:10.1109/2.735850
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