Towards a Common Reference Architecture for Open Hypermedia

Kaj Gronbak, Uffe Kock Wiil

Abstract


This paper contributes to an ongoing effort on standardizing open hypermedia system architectures and communication interfaces. Open hypermedia systems share the property of being able to provide non-hypermedia applications with hypermedia structuring and navigation capabilities. This support is currently provided in many different ways. To be able to standardize communication interfaces, it is necessary to develop common understanding of the different architectures of existing systems and to develop a common reference architecture for open hypermedia systems. A reference architecture should provide a common language for the design of open hypermedia systems in terms of architectural elements and interfaces. The paper identifies a number of important requirements and characteristics for open hypermedia systems and examines some of the most well known open hypermedia architectures and reference models. The analysis illuminates the commonalties and differences in terminology and architectural elements. The analytical results are used to propose common terminology and a common reference architecture for open hypermedia systems (CoReArc). CoReArc identifies several different architectural elements and communication interfaces for potential interface standardization. Interface standardization may be achieved through a single physical protocol with several suites or topics or through several independent protocols. CoReArc can be used to identify and discuss the different communication interfaces of an open hypermedia system.

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