Feeds

Xanadu project lifts open source kimono

Web ancestor meets WWW

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Ted Nelson's legendary Xanadu project - the fabled hypertext precursor to the World Wide Web - went open source a couple of years ago, and yesterday the project's curators made the web site public. Even though you might find it hard to justify the time to the pointy-haired boss, it's well worth the excursion.

Nelson embarked on the project in 1960, drawing on the ideas of Vannevar Bush, with the vision of tying disparate people and spaces into a huge distributed database. Or, er... not. It didn't quite start out like that, and by the 1980s (Xanadu could be described as a 30-year vaporware exercise which was constantly evolving) it had been honed down to a set of business rules.

But the epigrammatic and ever quotable founder - surely the geek world's Captain Beefheart - managed to maintain his place in the visionary pantheon with a succession of sponsors. At one stage Xanadu was owned by Autodesk. And oh, irony of ironies, Microsoft Press published the Xanadu book. Nelson supplied an unceasing supply of bon mots of which a couple of our favourites are:

"In 1974, computers were oppressive devices in far-off air-conditioned places. Now you can be oppressed in your own living room."

And later, when faced with the WWW itself, Nelson replied "Trying to fix HTML is like trying to graft arms and legs onto hamburger..."

To avoid confusion, the open source Xanadu work is "Udanax Green" and "Udanax Gold". You can find it here. Sounds of unicorns optional. ®

Related Story

Web precursor Xanadu goes open source

Gratuitous Links</ B>
Xanalogical Media: Needed Now More Than Ever
Information Management: A Proposal - Tim Berners Lee (March 1989)

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.