I’ve been listening to audio recordings of Open Tech 2005 (previously known as NotCon). As seems to often be true, about half the presentations are uninteresting, dully presented, or so poorly recorded as to be unintelligible. The other half are fascinating.
In particular, I listened to a talk given by a
It was Ted Nelson.
For those unfamiliar, Ted Nelson essentially invented the notion of “hypertext,” of documents with embedded links that take you to other documents. But his view goes much beyond that (indeed, he sees the
Until now. He’s released a very early alpha version of ZigZag, a
It’s a completely different way of looking at computing. I wonder if it has any legs.
Amazing to think of a guy, working for decades to achieve a specific vision.
|Brennen||I was just reading a bit about Nelson again last week. He’s a fascinating character, and Xanadu is/was a fascinating dream, though I think it’s been eclipsed by the grandiosity of its ambitions and its disconnection from any kind of pragmatic implementation. I also think Nelson’s plans have tended to suffer from a misplaced sense of total ownership, and Xanadu itself, the parts that can be deciphered, has elements of being a system for strong DRM &
|Brennen||If you haven’t read Nelson’s Computer Lib / Dream Machines, it’s well worth jumping through a few library related hoops to find a copy.|