Reader-built threads

A brief hypertext might be considered "thread-independent": If no components are ever hidden, then readers are free to choose any order for reading. This is the case when all the links in the entire hypertext are available in all components.

The only order that the writer might impose in a brief hypertext would affect links in a list. A reader may be more likely to select the link at the top of a list and to follow the list order from top to bottom.

If the order of links in the list rotates or cycles so that a different link is always at the top when the reader opens a new component, the reader may assume that the link at the top of the list leads to the "next" page. However, this cycling may disorient the reader by making the link list appear to be unstable.

A list of links does not constitute an author-built thread; the reader still can choose any link on the list. The writer has placed no restrictions on the reader's movement within the hypertext if all links are always available.