Project Xanadu

January 20, 2010 at 11:25 am (Networking) (, , , )

Ted Nelson proposed a giant electronic library in satellites that would be available to any terminal on earth connected by radio and telephone lines. He named it Xanadu after the mythical country. It would serve as a global database. Hypertext eventually made this idea reality.

Ted Nelson

Some of the premises of the Xanadu model are:

Documents are often connected side by side in parallel and need to be viewed that way

Links should be to content, independently of where that content moves to among versions and documents

Many simultaneous links may be on the same content

Identities should be kept track of automatically (transclusion)

The Structure of the Xanadu model is as follows:

Actual data content is in permascrolls

All data has permanently assigned addresses

All use of this data is referential or simulates referential usage

Manipulation of data is only by pointers

When the data moves among machines, the apparatus of referential use moves with it

Links are to the permaddresses of the content

A document is all the versions with the same name and owner, or some subset of versions designated by the owner

Documents have arbitrary structure which is not necessarily hierarchical, may have overlapping contents

For more information check out the original site by clicking Design Overview below

Design Overview

Above is an overview of the basic concept of Project Xanadu

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