Welcome to Hypertext '99. This is the 10th conference in a series of international conferences on hypertext and hypermedia organized by ACM. Much has changed in this field since the first workshop in 1987. Most notably, the WWW became a de-facto standard and brought the notion of hypertext to millions of users. This development was also reflected by the growing number of papers submitted to ACM Hypertext conferences, which deal with hypertext and hypermedia issues on the WWW. ACM's special interest group on hypertext is just changing its name from SIGLINK to SIGWEB to reflect the importance of the WWW as a vehicle to bring hypertext and hypermedia ideas to everybody. However, the strength of this community was always its interdisciplinary nature and its diversity. As in 1987, practitioners, researchers, engineers, hypertext literary scholars, and writers are still meeting at this conference. It is this diversity that keeps the discussions and creation of new ideas alive!
There are two days of pre-conference courses and workshops, followed by 3 days of the full technical program. This year we offer you two tracks composed of full papers, short papers, panels and technical briefings, posters and demos, and hypertext readings. We are very pleased that Mark Bernstein and Robert Cailliau both accepted to be our keynote speakers. Mark is well-known for both his literary and technical work and will talk in his opening keynote on "Where are the Hypertexts?" He will provide us with his insights on how hypertext and literary machines might evolve. Robert Cailliau and Tim Berners-Lee invented the WWW at CERN in 1990. Robert will in his closing keynote talk about "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and will share with us his personal analysis of how the WWW was shaped and how it might develop in the future. This year the 4th annual Engelbart Best Paper Award for the best conference paper will be presented at Hypertext '99. The award carries a $1,000 cash prize (sponsored by Knowledge Systems). In addition, there will be a new annual SIGWEB award: the Nelson Newcomer Award. It is a great pleasure to have Ted Nelson here and to have him present the 1st Nelson Newcomer Award for the best newcomer paper together with Wendy Hall (representing the award sponsor Multicosm Ltd).
We also have a packed social program including a welcome reception and a conference reception. Your conference registration will include these events plus coffees and teas during the conference.
The conference will be held at Darmstadt University of Technology, which is a significant center for computer science research. Holding the conference at a major university campus means we can provide you with hands-on computing and good internet access. Since the conference site is located in the heart of Darmstadt hotels and shops are in walking distance. The weather in Germany in February is usually cold. Located in the center of Germany, Darmstadt is a wonderful starting point for travel to other German and European destinations.
So please come and join us in Darmstadt for a great conference.
Jörg M. Haake, Conference Chair
Uffe K. Wiil and John J. Leggett, Program Chairs