hyperlit: a literary hypertext authoring system

what kind of monolithic hypertext system can be created in a single night of coding?

what is it?

a small Java application for authoring literary hypertext.

what is it not?

hyperlit is similar (in a very weak sense) to Storyspace. However, it is not as powerful as Storyspace in that it does not provide spatial views of a hypertext. Then again, Storyspace costs $295 and has been developed over many years, while hyperlit is free and was developed in a single night.

what can it do?

hyperlit is expressive enough to write substantial literary hypertext, as long as the final product does not require a spatial view. For example, one could use it to author a work as substantial as "afternoon, a story", the flagship hypertext for Storyspace.

what else can it do?

hyperlit can export hypertext lexia as a network of HTML pages for the web.

where is an example?

"six and a half seconds, a story" was authored with hyperlit and has been exported for the web.

where can I get it?

--Windows download: hyperlit.zip
--Unix/Linux/OSX download: hyperlit.tar.gz

what do I need to run it?

hyperlit requires Java 1.2 or later.
(you must be able to type "java" at the command prompt without error to run hyperlit.)

how do I run it?

download and extract hyperlit. In the "hyperlit" directory, run runHyperlit.bat (for Windows) or runHyperlit (for Unix/Linux/OSX), followed by the name of a lexia file that you want to edit (for example, test.lex, to start editing a new lexia file called "test.lex"). This script will launch hyperlit.

if you get an error when running these scripts, make sure Java 1.2 is installed. Try running java -version to check.

how do I use it?

hyperlit is designed to be controlled almost entirely with the keyboard (though all commands can also be invoked using the operations menu) . You can use the arrow keys to move around in a lexia and various action keys to manipulate the word that is under the cursor (called the current word).

ctrl-N spawns a new lexia linked to the current word and switches to the new lexia for editing.

ctrl-T traverses the link for the current word, moving to the lexia that is linked. Traversing only works if the current word is underlined (in other words, is a link).

ctrl-L links to an existing lexia, with the start point set on the existing word. You must hit ctrl-L again to finish the link. Whatever lexia you are in when you hit ctrl-L the second time will be the destination of the link.

ctrl-U clears the link from the current word.

ctrl-Page Up goes to the previous lexia in the lexia list.

ctrl-Page Down goes to the next lexia in the lexia list.

ctrl-S saves all lexia to the file specified at startup.

Three other commands are available only through the operations menu:
delete lexia deletes the current lexia.

output html outputs the current lexia set to a folder of HTML files.

quit quits hyperlit.

where do I get the source?

The source code is included with the download. You can also obtain the latest source through CVS from the hypertext SourceForge project.

who is responsible?

hyperlit was coded in a single night by Jason Rohrer. Other related hypertext projects are available at hypertext.sourceforge.net.