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System Name: hyperbole
Name: GNU Hyperbole
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This project is part of the GNU Project.

GNU Hyperbole

In 2016, GNU Hyperbole was greatly expanded and updated with full compatibility for Emacs 24.4 through the latest Emacs releases. GNU Hyperbole is now available for download and installation via the GNU Emacs package manager:


GNU Hyperbole is an open, efficient, programmable information management and hypertext system for GNU Emacs. It is intended for everyday work on any UNIX platform supported by Emacs. It works well with the versions of Emacs that support the following window systems: X, Mac OS X, and Windows. It was written by Bob Weiner and is maintained by Bob and Mats Lidell for the Free Software Foundation.

Hyperbole allows hypertext buttons to be embedded within unstructured and structured files, mail messages and news articles. It offers intuitive mouse-based control of information display within multiple windows. It also provides point-and-click access to World-Wide Web URLs, Info manuals, ftp archives, etc.

Hyperbole consists of five parts:

1. Buttons and Smart Keys: A set of hyperbutton types which supply core hypertext and other behaviors. Buttons may be added to documents (explicit buttons) with a simple drag between windows, no markup language needed. Implicit buttons are patterns automatically recognized within text that perform actions, e.g. bug #24568 displays the bug status information for that bug number.

Buttons are accessed by clicking on them or referenced by name (global buttons), so they can be activated regardless of what is on screen. Users can make simple changes to button types and those familiar with Emacs Lisp can prototype and deliver new types quickly with just a few lines of code.

Hyperbole includes two special `Smart Keys', the Action Key and the Assist Key, that perform an extensive array of context-sensitive operations across emacs usage, including activating and showing help for Hyperbole buttons. In many popular Emacs modes, they allow you to perform common, sometimes complex operations without having to a different key for each operation. Just press a Smart Key and the right thing happens;

2. Contact and Text Finder: an interactive textual information management interface, including fast, flexible file and text finding commands. A powerful, hierarchical contact manager, HyRolo, which anyone can use is also included. It is easy to learn to use since it introduces only a few new mechanisms and has a menu interface, which may be operated from the keyboard or the mouse;

3. Screen Control: the fastest, easiest-to-use window and frame control available for GNU Emacs. With just a few keystrokes, you can shift from increasing a window's height by 5 lines to moving a frame by 220 pixels or immediately moving it to a screen corner. Text in each window or frame may be enlarged or shrunk (zoomed) for easy viewing, plus many other features;

4. The Koutliner: an advanced outliner with multi-level autonumbering, permanent ids attached to each outline node for use as hypertext link anchors, per node properties plus flexible view specifications that can be embedded within links or used interactively;

5. Programming Library: a set of programming library classes for system developers who want to integrate Hyperbole with another user interface or as a back-end to a distinct system. All of Hyperbole is written in Emacs Lisp for ease of modification. Hyperbole has been engineered for real-world usage and is well structured.

Hyperbole Buttons

A Hyperbole hypertext user works with buttons; he may create, modify, move or delete buttons. Each button performs a specific action, such as linking to a file or executing a shell command.

There are three categories of Hyperbole buttons:

1. Explicit Buttons created by Hyperbole, accessible from within a single document;

2. Global Buttons created by Hyperbole, accessible anywhere within a user's network of documents;

3. Implicit Buttons buttons created and managed by other programs or embedded within the structure of a document, accessible from within a single document. Hyperbole recognizes implicit buttons by contextual patterns given in their type specifications.

Hyperbole buttons may be clicked upon with a mouse to activate them or to describe their actions. Thus, a user can always check how a button will act before activating it. Buttons may also be activated from a keyboard. (In fact, virtually all Hyperbole operations, including menu usage, may be performed from any standard terminal interface, so one can use it on distant machines that provide limited display access).

Hyperbole does not enforce any particular hypertext or information management model, but instead allows you to organize your information in large or small chunks as you see fit, organizing each bit as time allows. The Hyperbole Koutliner and Rolo tools organize textual hierarchies and may also contain links to external information sources.

Major Features

Some of Hyperbole's most important features include:

- Buttons may link to information or may execute commands, such as computing a complex value or communicating with external programs;

- Buttons are quick and easy to create with no programming nor markup needed. One simply drags between a button source location and a link destination to create or to modify a link button. The same result can be achieved from the keyboard.

- Buttons may be embedded within email messages and activated from Emacs mail readers; hyperlinks may include variables so that they work at different locations where the variable settings differ;

- Koutlines allow rapid browsing, editing and movement of chunks of information organized into trees (hierarchies) and offer links that include viewspecs which determine how documents are to be displayed, e.g. show just the first two lines of all levels in a Koutline;

- Other hypertext and information retrieval systems may be encapsulated under a Hyperbole user interface very easily.

Typical Applications

Typical Hyperbole applications include:

- Personal Information Management Overlapping link paths provide a variety of views into an information space. A single key press activates buttons regardless of their types, making navigation easy.

A search facility locates buttons in context and permits quick selection.

- Documentation Browsing Embedding cross-references in a favorite documentation format.

Addition of a point-and-click interface to existing documentation.

Linkage of code and design documents. Jumping to the definition of an identifier from its use within code or its reference within documentation.

- Brainstorming Capture of ideas and then quick reorganization with the Hyperbole Koutliner. Link to related ideas, eliminating the need to copy and paste information into a single place.

- Help/Training Systems Creation of tutorials with embedded buttons that show students how things work while explaining the concepts, e.g. an introduction to UNIX commands. This technique can be much more effective than descriptions alone.

- Archive Managers Supplementation of programs that manage archives from incoming information stream, having them add topic-based buttons that link to the archive holdings. Users can then search and create their own links to archive entries.

Registration Date: Thu 07 Aug 2003 05:52:35 AM UTC
License: GNU General Public License v3 or later
Development Status: 6 - Mature


Latest News rss feed
GNU Hyperbole 6.0.2 for Emacs 24.4 or newer is released
     posted by rsw, Thu 11 Aug 2016 02:02:35 AM UTC - 0 replies

For information on what GNU Hyperbole is, screenshots, download and
installation instructions, see the GNU Hyperbole home page:

The Hyperbole wiki page: ...

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GNU Hyperbole 6.0.1 for Emacs 24.4 to 25 is released
     posted by rsw, Wed 27 Jul 2016 07:33:23 PM UTC - 0 replies

GNU Hyperbole (pronounced Ga-new Hi-per-bo-lee), or just Hyperbole, is an amazing programmable hypertextual information management system implemented as a GNU Emacs package. This is the first public release in 2016. Hyperbole has been greatly ...

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