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In computing, a hypertext system is one for displaying information that
contains references (called hyperlinks) to other information on the system,
and for easily publishing, updating and searching for the information. The
most well-known hypertext system is the World Wide Web.
Probably the first description of the idea came in 1945, when Vannevar Bush
wrote an article in The Atlantic Monthly called "As We May Think," about a
futuristic device he called a "Memex". He described the device as
electronically linked to a library and able to display books and films from
the library, and further able to automatically follow references from these
to the work referenced.
Computer scientist Ted Nelson coined the word "hypertext" in 1965. Nelson's
work and many other early hypertext systems such as Douglas Engelbart's
"NLS" and the popular HyperCard application bundled with the Apple Macintosh
computer were quickly overshadowed by the success of Tim Berners-Lee's World
Wide Web, even though the latter lacked many features of those earlier
systems such as typed links, transclusion and source tracking.