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[ih] origins of the term "hyperlink"

fwiw, Tim Berners-Lee's original WWW proposal in 1989 used "hypertext" and used the word "link" extensively, but did not use "hyperlink". Tim knew the literature; you can see his references at the end of his original proposal.
The 1990 version:

The original 1989 version with scribbled comments by Mike Sendall:

So assuming the term was indeed coined in 1988, it wasn't widely known by 1989.

   Brian Carpenter

On 13-Apr-20 06:20, Darius Kazemi via Internet-history wrote:
> I got curious and started with a google books ngram search, then started
> combing through individual records provided with their context. I made sure
> to filter for noise -- there are a lot of books indexed that are 1990+
> editions of earlier books that contain the term "hyperlink" in the
> additional notes.
> This DTIC report on on a hypertext project from 1987 does NOT use the term
> "hyperlink", only "link":
> https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA188179/page/n3/mode/2up/search/%22knowledge+garden%22?q=%22knowledge+garden%22
> The earliest *published* mentions I can find are from 1988.
> "PC AI" trade publication mentions hyperlinks and linked documents.
> https://books.google.com/books?id=dKYdAQAAIAAJ&q=%22hyperlink%22&dq=%22hyperlink%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwib6Omgt-PoAhXUFjQIHSPKDucQ6AEwAnoECAIQAg
> PC Magazine in December 1988 mentions a linked document product suite
> called PC-Hypertext from a company called MaxThink, which had an entire
> program called HyperLink:
> https://archive.org/details/PC-Mag-1988-12-13/page/n151/mode/2up/search/maxthink
> THE FINAL LINK HyperLink is not so
>> much a single product as it is a combina-
>> tion of related utilities. This $89 module
>> has programs that let you move MaxThink
>> and Houdini networks into hypertext net-
>> works. Since the PC-Hypertext system is
>> designed to connect separate files, Hyper-
>> Link has a utility that automatically divides
>> a large text file into many smaller ones.
>> Another program creates cross-reference
>> lists for each file and then combines them
>> into one long list.
>> HyperLink also includes an ENCODE
>> program, which compiles text files into a
>> hypertext system that can be used with PC-
>> Hypertext. All jumps ate established by
>> placing a filename between the left and
>> right angle brackets. The files used by EN-
>> CODE can be created with any editor ca-
>> pable of writing ASCII files. HyperLink
>> even includes a utility designed to make a
>> mini-expert system out of a hypertext net-
>> work.
> Possible asides and dead ends:
> There is a concept in graph theory called a "hypergraph" and I found a 1977
> paper that uses the term "hyperlink" in a discussion of a data structure
> for a database system built around the hypergraph. I'm unsure if there is a
> direct connection with the hypertext terminology but since it's a computer
> science paper I thought I'd include it.
> https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-48908-2_3
> HyperLink magazine was a publication dedicated to HyperCard development,
> which is far as I can tell began publication in 1987 around the same time
> as HyperCard was released. Whether this was an intentional play on an
> already-established concept of a hyperlink or if it merely was for "linking
> up" HyperCard developers, I can't say.
> I'm also finding some commercial product naming, like "hyperlink" referring
> to a special kind of networking interface here:
> https://books.google.com/books?id=Cc4EAQAAIAAJ&q=%22hyperlink%22&dq=%22hyperlink%22&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwib6Omgt-PoAhXUFjQIHSPKDucQ6AEwBnoECAcQAg
> My conclusion:
> It seems that in 1987-1988, "hyper" was a popular prefix to attach to
> anything to make it seem more "techie", like "cyber-" was for some years in
> the 1990s. There was a general flowering of things called hyper-[noun] in
> those two years. This of course matches up roughly with the invention of
> the WWW in 1989. The idea that "hyperlink" was coined by Ben Shneidermanin
> 1988 seems wholly plausible to me! At least I can find nothing to
> contradict the claim. My guess is that multiple people independently coined
> "hyperlink" in 1988, including whoever was working at MaxThink on their
> HyperLink product in 1988.
> -Darius
> On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 9:54 AM Steve Crocker via Internet-history <
> internet-history at elists.isoc.org> wrote:
>> Jeff and Vint,
>> Thanks for this very informative dialog.  One small question about a date:
>>> Bush published the idea in 1945. Engelbart named the idea "links" about
>>> 1945 but did not tell anyone.
>> Was it really 1945 when Engelbart names the idea ?links??  I?m guessing
>> this was an unintended typo.
>> Steve
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On Apr 12, 2020, at 12:45 PM, vinton cerf via Internet-history <
>> internet-history at elists.isoc.org> wrote:
>>> ?I asked Jeff Rulifson if he could help us figure out when "hyperlink"
>>> entered into usage. Jeff was the principal programmer for Douglas
>>> Engelbart's NLS editing system in which such links were introduced. Ted
>>> Nelson coined terms like "hypertext" in his Xanadu concept - the two were
>>> contemporary in the 1960s.
>>> Here is Jeff's response:
>>> Vannevar Bush, (Atlantic Monthly, July 1945, p 107) introduces the idea
>> of
>>> "associative indexing, the basic idea of which is a provision whereby any
>>> item may be caused at will to select immediately and automatically
>>> another." Bush goes on to discuss the idea of a named trail of such
>>> associations. Engelbart's contemporaneous handwritten marginal notes in
>> his
>>> copy of the magazine call such a trail "links". The Computer History
>> Museum
>>> has a photocopy of Doug's personal copy with his handwritten marginal
>>> notes. (I have a TIFF of their copy.)
>>> By the time of the 1968 demo, I had fully implemented links. I used a
>> very
>>> general implementation. A link had two parts: the name of a document and
>> a
>>> search command. The named document could be the current document or any
>>> other document available for searching. The search command was a regular
>>> expression. Users could make their links very simple or extremely
>>> sophisticated. As far as I know, this was the first general
>> implementation.
>>> In 1965, Ted Nelson had coined the term hypertext but never had an
>>> implementation. I believe he used the term links but I cannot find the
>>> paper for verification.
>>> By 1967, not knowing about Nelson or Engelbart, Andy van Dam had built a
>>> system called HES. Andy's system had the notion of links and they were
>>> called "links". (See
>>> http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/4/1/000081/000081.html)
>>> Bush published the idea in 1945. Engelbart named the idea "links" about
>>> 1945 but did not tell anyone. Andy used links in a line editor in 1967
>> and
>>> I implemented a general version in 1968. Up till then, they were called
>>> links.
>>> When was "hyper" added as a prefix?
>>> The article at
>> https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/seeing-what-others-dont/201801/the-invention-hyperlinks
>>> claims Ben Shneiderman invented them in 1988 and implies Shneiderman
>> coined
>>> the term. You can see more of Shneiderman's claims at
>>> http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/hyperties/. Shneiderman added the prefix
>> "hyper"
>>> 43 years after Doug named associative indexing "links" and 20 years after
>>> my implementation.
>>> The article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink#History
>> attributes
>>> the term hyperlinks to Nelson in 1965. But, to my knowledge, Nelson used
>>> the term "links" at that time.
>>> My bet would be that hyper was added between 1980 and 1987. Maybe it was
>> a
>>> journalist and we will never know.
>>> Jeff
>>> -------
>>> Also:
>>> [image: Bush with Engelbart Annotation.png]
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