4.0778 Xanadu/TidBITS#30 (Excerpt) (1/80)
Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 28 Nov 90 23:58:44 EST
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0778. Wednesday, 28 Nov 1990.
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 90 12:15:51 EST
From: "Adam C. Engst" <PV9Y@CORNELLA>
[TidBITS] Editors' note: This issue of TidBITS is a special issue
reporting on the progress and philosophy of Ted Nelson's mind-
stretching Xanadu project. We say mind-stretching because Nelson's
ideas range far from the mainstream while at the same time
retaining a compelling lucidity. It is our opinion that Xanadu, if
it ever comes out, will truly change the face of computing (and a
hell of a lot of other things too) as we know it. This is good. So
read on, enjoy yourself, and soak in the possibilities of Xanadu.
Anyone who is interested in writing other special issues should
contact us at one of the electronic addresses below. If the topic
is appropriate we are likely to agree to it. (More information on
TidBITS is at the end of this file.)
Ted Nelson World Tour '90
What is Xanadu?
The New Literature
Setting Up a Stand
PAX Front End Demo
by Ian Feldman (71%)
First Xanadu stand opens Jan. 1993, El Camino Rd, Palo Alto CA. Be
Ted Nelson's worldwide open-hypertext-publishing network, Xanadu,
has once again been delayed. The version described in Literary
Machines 87.1, etc., has been completed, but put on the shelf due
to the absence of some key software mechanisms. The new prototype
of the single-user back-end server software is in Smalltalk that
will compile down to C to run on essentially all types of
machines. That's the nitty-gritty of the keynote lecture at the
first stop of Ted Nelson's 1990 World Tour (complete with
beautifully embroidered black satin jackets), the 'Multimedia 90'
conference, held in Linkoping, Sweden on September 10th.
Ted Nelson: "In 1987 [...] that small fraction of the computer
field that knew of Xanadu was very much astonished when they heard
that the AutoDesk Company [57% world market share in CAD programs]
had actually bought the project, and they'd be even more
astonished if they knew how many millions of dollars AutoDesk has
put into it since, which I can't tell you but it is 'several.'"
They now work on performance and related parameters, so that
online deliveries might take place "while the user is still
awake." The FEBE (front-end-to-back-end terminal access) protocol
has yet to be finalized though. We're to expect a LAN-version of
the xanalogical storage server to be introduced on the market in
1991, with a few front-end programs available from AutoDesk, Inc.
(the Macintosh version is being written by Mark $ Miller, so we're
apparently in good hands).
The first public-access Xanadu vending point in Palo Alto in '93
will be followed six months later by a sister installation at
Chico State University, then in some yet undecided "Country Two,"
in few more American states, then worldwide.
[A complete version of this document is now available through the
fileserver, s.v. XANADU TidBITS. You may obtain a copy by issuing
the command -- GET filename filetype HUMANIST -- either interactively or
as a batch-job, addressed to ListServ@Brownvm. Thus on a VM/CMS system,
you say interactively: TELL LISTSERV AT BROWNVM GET filename filetype
HUMANIST; if you are not on a VM/CMS system, send mail to
ListServ@Brownvm with the GET command as the first and only line. For
more details see the "Guide to Humanist". Problems should be reported
to David Sitman, A79@TAUNIVM, after you have consulted the Guide and
tried all appropriate alternatives.]