Feeds

Xanadu project lifts open source kimono

Web ancestor meets WWW

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

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)

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.