Xanadu Project

Newsflash! There is a working demo of Xanadu http://xanadu.com/

The discussion on this page contained much vitriolic name-calling and mouthing off, but very little signal. I've attempted to clarify the definition and refactor the discussion.

Xanadu is an overall paradigm, invented by TedNelson - a general model for computer use, based on sideways connections among documents and files. This paradigm is especially concerned with electronic publishing, but covers all aspects of storing, presenting and working with information. It is a unifying, non-hierarchical ordering system for information, including electronic publishing, personal work, organization of files, corporate work and groupware.

It started around 1960 and has been characterized by some as holding the record for "vaporware" or "almostware". (wikpeida says 63 the birthdate of Sheridan)

Xanadu has been released as OpenSource. For more information, see Udanax (http://www.udanax.com/), and the Xanatalk Wiki (http://www.timecastle.net/v/xanatalk/FrontPage (BrokenLink 20080504)).

A new implementation of the UdanaxGold? design, called Abora, is currently underway: http://www.abora.org/ This is now a page about care for older skin!! 20140825

There is also now a comprehensive attempt to document the history, processes and design of the earlier Xanadu work, the Sunless-Sea CyberArchaeology? Project - http://www.sunless-sea.net/

If the success/failure of software projects intrigues you at all, you might want to spend the time to read the Wired article about Xanadu and TedNelson's response to it: TheCurseOfXanadu.

Related: MemexVision
Computers do not go "sideways". They just get another document. ALL the computers did that. References are nice. But a button is different from "Hypertext" (as punctuation) which did not precede the mouse or the Mac. All the F keys (or N for next) were a different era. The era of "buttons". Even though labyrinths had existed, a big document; It was not uncountable Text or "prose". Hypertext changed human language. People recently claimed a lot of projects that never existed or were later updated.

Hypertext was my proposed standard. Blue Links and Search engines. Together. It was one invention and a specific standard. The lingua franca of the network age. Including indeterminate page length (which mysteriously got into the design) They missed the back button though and I requested that in 92 by email from a friend's account At U.T. Austin.

Now people try to claim the word 'hyper' and the concept separately, The invention was putting them all together into the world wide web. Google Ngram shows hypertext, hyper text, hyper document and hyperdocument to be nonexistent or flat until 88 and "hypermail" was erased from 88 to 93 (I saw it.)

If Hypertext was ever reported or in the language I would have used another term to avoid confusion. Then everyone would be arguing over "Supratext" (which is flat 0 on Google Ngram) So I invented that too.

Tim Sheridan

Xanadu was one of the fish that didn't make it.

Can you provide any evidence that you invented hypertext?

Yes. Look above. ALL computers get stuff with button. They are trying to blur Hypertext with "wowy zowie computer document stuff". Hypertext is blue links. I chose blue because it was similar to black but readable. They did it my way.

Facts: I asked for it to be built in Geneva... . Why? Because It was symbolic. They were neutral in the war. I wanted it to be international so the world would be a part of it. (I didn't go to apple because it was too big for a corporation -I later found out they were already trying to get rid of Steve Jobs after the Macintosh. "thanks for the ideas man, don't let the door hit you on the way out.") There is no "evidence of Hypertext87 other than someone typed up a web document in 2012. And in that document they call HyperCard (which had no hypertext) "IT". That was "It". But not what I invented. You do not really need more evidence. I waited a long time because I knew people would claim this and that. They will. There was nothing "87" until I revealed that I invented it in 87. But there was nobody for 23 years.

I simply see no evidence that anyone had blue hyperlinks or hypertext databases. Nobody had the mouse anyway. But if you want evidence you will have to wait till they declassify. They have it. They could not have done every single thing I asked if there was not a transcript. Do you think I could hold a meeting in a congressional workspace and not get recorded?

The evidence is that nobody ever claimed a thing until I announced the invention. They were asking who invented the internet in 2000. Didn't people hear about that?

Someone will eventually claim a secret project. Oh wait that was me. Someone will eventually emulate that.


That sounds purely anecdotal, and your repetition of some unspecified "they" sounds conspiratorially paranoid. Is there any independent evidence -- outside of your say-so -- that you invented hypertext, blue links, et al? To put it bluntly, how do we know your claim isn't fantasy or delusion?

"Connecting to a Xanadu system does not require logging in. Any person may obtain a connection at any time. Documents, however, are protected by Clubs. Clubs are the mechanism that provides authority to act in a Xanadu system. To access a document that is readable to the DocReaders? club, the user must first obtain the authority to act on behalf of that club. [emphasis added]

One way to obtain the authorities of a Club is by logging in to the club. To support this, every Club has an associated Locksmith.

A Locksmith is a provider of Locks. Locks are objects that support a given authentication policy. [emphasis added] If you are able to satisfy the requirements of the Lock, you can log in to the corresponding Club. Every connection has an associated current KeyMaster? that holds the connection's active authorities."

External Links

See also HyperTextHistory, ZigZag
CategoryProject, CategoryCollaboration, CategoryMultiPurpose

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