Every interactive system evolves into hyperspace: The case of the Smart Game Board

Anders Kierulf, Ralph Gasser, Peter M. Geiser, Martin Müller, Jurg Nievergelt, Christoph Wirth
Informatik, ETH, CH-8092 Zurich


Although an interactive system may be dedicated to a specific application, if it aims at a heterogeneous user community it must provide many application-independent functions, such as: User interface, an explanatory and communications component, and data base functions for data structuring and visualization. In other words, every user-friendly interactive application evolves into a hypermedia system. We present a case study of this phenomenon for an esoteric application: The Smart Game Board evolved from a computerized board and a programmer's workbench into a powerful tool that supports game fans in the many functions they normally perform using a wooden board and paper: playing, analyzing, annotating, organizing and storing game collections. The special nature of these documents is reflected in highly specialized support functions, such as searching for patterns in a collection of Go games.