This paper describes an ongoing research project in the area of electronic books. After a brief overview of the state of the art in this field, two new forms of electronic book are presented: hyper‐books and visual‐books. A flexible environment allows them to be produced in a semi‐automatic way starting from different sources: electronic texts (as input for hyper‐books) and paper books (as input for visual‐books). The translation process is driven by the philosophy of preserving the book metaphor in order to guarantee that electronic information is presented in a familiar way. Another important feature of our research is that hyper‐books and visual‐books are conceived not as isolated objects but as entities within an electronic library, which inherits most of the features of a paper‐based library but introduces a number of new properties resulting from its non‐physical nature
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