Xanadu discussion in Second Life - Oct. 28, 2006

Sling Radius: Hi
Jack Sondergaard: hi
Sling Radius: Hello
Jack Sondergaard: are you here for the Xanadu discussion?
Sling Radius: The hypertext meeting?
Jack Sondergaard: yes
Sling Radius: Comfy cottage. :)
Jack Sondergaard: over on the wall is a notecard dispenser
Sling Radius: Thanks.
Jack Sondergaard: if you touch it, you will get a description of the Xanadu project
Jack Sondergaard: have you heard of it before?
discussion topic dispenser gave you Keeping Things Separate, Order and Chaos.
Sling Radius: Nope...I'm curious.
Jack Sondergaard: anyway, we just have informal chats here
Sling Radius: Nice.
Jack Sondergaard: start with any questions you have after reading the card, and we will talk about it
Sling Radius: But as I never really got to know anything about it, I'll just shut.
Sling Radius: ok
Jack Sondergaard: OK, I will just describe it a little
Jack Sondergaard: I am not one of the programmers, but I am trying to learn Python, so I can understand better what is being written
Jack Sondergaard: Xanadu was first designed way back in the 1960's by Ted Nelson, the inventor of the word "hypertext, hypermedia, etc."
Sling Radius: Humhum.
Jack Sondergaard: during the 1980's and early 1990's, a couple of attempts were made to write it, but using computers with very small memories
Jack Sondergaard: so we have much better tools now
Sling Radius: So, for a time it was just a consept?
Jack Sondergaard: if you were to take the web and make some changes, you would have it
Sling Radius: *long time
Jack Sondergaard: yes
Jack Sondergaard: a new project is in the works now
Jack Sondergaard: if you made every page editable, that would be a start
Sling Radius: Wiki style?
Jack Sondergaard: but instead of changing the original page, you make a new version, and it would be linked to the previous one
Sling Radius: So new versions would be placed over the prior?
Jack Sondergaard: in a wiki, there is one current version of a page, so there is a serial dimension to it
Sling Radius: But with access to early pages versions?
Jack Sondergaard: in Xanadu, it would be more like parallel versions to choose from
Jack Sondergaard: your version might just consist of quoting the entire previous one, but with a few minor changes and comments added
Jack Sondergaard: and you could compare any 2 versions side by side and have the differences color coded
Jack Sondergaard: links would consist of visible translucent lines between spans of documents
Jack Sondergaard: and they would be unbreakable, since all versions of a document published would be available
Sling Radius: Hmmm...Not sure if I follow. :\
Sling Radius: But continue, please.
Jack Sondergaard: there would need to be some powerful organizing tools to show versions of a chosen document
Jack Sondergaard: I will mention how it comparres with the web in a few ways
Jack Sondergaard: when you create a web page, you have one current version of a page available at a time
Sling Radius: Yup.
Jack Sondergaard: if it has links to other pages, they can break if the file or directory names change
Sling Radius: So, you're talking about an automatic check and update of the link?
Jack Sondergaard: there is only one type of link, from a point in one document to another whole document, or to a point in it (if you know where in that document you can link to)
Sling Radius: Yup
Jack Sondergaard: not an update of a link, since it will never breaak
Jack Sondergaard: in Xanadu, that is
Sling Radius: Ho.
Sling Radius: I think I understand.
Jack Sondergaard: on most web pages, only the original author can edit a page, replacing the previous version
Jack Sondergaard: so if you bookmark a page, and the part you were interested in gets deleted, you are out of luck
Sling Radius: Yes.
Jack Sondergaard: also, the web is not well suited for publishing the tens of millions of copyrighted works that people work full time to produce and expect to get paid for
Jack Sondergaard: which is why we still buy so much paper and plastic media, even though it's expensive and inefficient to produce and distribute
Sling Radius: Also more reliable.
Sling Radius: But it's besides the point.
Jack Sondergaard: what if you could write or record a review of a movie or song and "quote" any amount of it desired (legally), because permission had been granted in advance to do so
Jack Sondergaard: why would the publishers give this permission? Because they would get paid a little each time that part was read, watched, or listened to
Jack Sondergaard: you could buy any part of any document, so you would only pay for what you saw or heard, not the whole thing
Jack Sondergaard: if you read one chapter of a book, you only pay for one chapter, not the whole book
Sling Radius: Ok....But what it has to do in concrete(?) with the hypertext technology?
Jack Sondergaard: all publishers would grant upon publication, rights to anyone to quote them at any length
Jack Sondergaard: hypertext is the linking of information in any desired way
Jack Sondergaard: like web links, which are simple links
Sling Radius: It simply points, yes.
Jack Sondergaard: databases link information in much more structured ways
Jack Sondergaard: similar to a spreadsheet, or several linked spreadsheets
Sling Radius: It would be like an index, then?
Sling Radius: Ha, ok.
Jack Sondergaard: also in Xanadu, the formatting is kept separate from a document, and merged when viewed
Jack Sondergaard: anyone would be free to create indexes, or make a new version of someone else's index
Jack Sondergaard: if the formatting is kept separate, you can pick a different format for different purposes
Jack Sondergaard: one for wireless phones and PDA's, one for personal computers, one for use in Second Life, etc.
Jack Sondergaard: if you think about a Photoshop image, for instance, it has layers of different images composited, layers with effects and text
Sling Radius: Yeah.
Jack Sondergaard: if you only have the jpeg that it outputs, you can't change it
Sling Radius: Yup, but in the .psd format, I can still access the several layers.
Jack Sondergaard: but if you have Photoshop, and the original file, you can show or hide layers for different reasons
Sling Radius: Yup.
Jack Sondergaard: so if you apply the same concept to all media, let everyone choose the layers they want, those layers could contain link sets, formatting, etc., it would add a lot of flexibility
Jack Sondergaard: there could be different ways to view a document, as a slideshow, an outline, a book, a mindmap
Jack Sondergaard: you have just one base document to edit, but can choose how to display it
Jack Sondergaard: there is a Mac program called Tinderbox that lets you do just that
Jack Sondergaard: and several others similar to it that I have
Sling Radius: Ok, and how it would change the copyrights proprietor views on displaying his property?
Jack Sondergaard: so these capabilities exist for a single user now
Sling Radius: I see.
Sling Radius: It should already be ports for several platforms too.
Jack Sondergaard: when you quote another document, and someone reads your document, it will be a composite
Jack Sondergaard: like having transparent overlays, they can see through yours into ones below
Jack Sondergaard: it will look like just one document, but be actually more than one
Jack Sondergaard: web pages do this with images now
Jack Sondergaard: you may be looking at a page and the images coming from other locations on the net
Sling Radius: Yup.
Sling Radius: But people already feel angry with leeching.
Jack Sondergaard: a quote will contain a link to the original, so the reader can go to it and see it in it's original context
Sling Radius: ok
Jack Sondergaard: do you mean stealing content?
Jack Sondergaard: in Xanadu, the publisher would have the right to either give away a document or sell it
Sling Radius: Nah....Sometimes even open content is blocked if the (I forget the name) page that was requested to access the picture isn't with that server....Costs bandwhith.
Sling Radius: But I was getting off-topic.
Jack Sondergaard: yes, as it is on the web, the producers of content have to pay to put it on servers
Jack Sondergaard: if a lot of people view it, it gets expensive, so they usually add advertising to pay for the server
Jack Sondergaard: OK
Jack Sondergaard: in Xanadu, you could have advertising, you could just sell it, or give it away and pay for the server yourself, that is your choice
Sling Radius: Forget what I said. It wasn't thought thoroughly.
Jack Sondergaard: no problem, I think I know what you meant
Jack Sondergaard: like if I made a page showing thousands of pictures, all coming from other people's pages
Sling Radius: Then you would pay for the copyrighted content in the document as always, no?
Jack Sondergaard: I wouldn't be paying to have those gigabytes of pictures served, even though it would look like it
Sling Radius: I mean just the copyright, not the space.
Jack Sondergaard: yes, if you choose to quote from a book, or play a song, or part of a movie that someone charges money for, when someone reads your Xanadu page, they would be asked if they want to buy that part of someone else's work
Jack Sondergaard: they could set an amount ($1.00 for instance) to pay automatically without being asked
Sling Radius: Ho, I get it....So I could only read the review freely without paying a cent if I don't watch/ask for the copyrighted embedded material?
Jack Sondergaard: with a simple streamlined payment system, musicians and music makers could charge small amounts so nearly anyone could afford it, and still make money
Jack Sondergaard: yes, when someone is going to pay for something, they would have to give permission
Jack Sondergaard: so I could browse music, listen to 30 seconds of a song free (like on iTunes), then buy the song if I want to for 5 cents, or whatever the musician wants to charge
Jack Sondergaard: it wouldn't be a set fee for everything
Sling Radius: hehe I don't see the big labels doing that dance. :)
Jack Sondergaard: if I only listen to half the song, and don't want to finish it, I only pay 2 1/2 cents
Jack Sondergaard: and once I buy it, it's mine to listen to as much as I want without paying for again
Sling Radius: Counters, too?
Jack Sondergaard: databases can keep track of the accounting
Sling Radius: Yup.
Jack Sondergaard: there is a web based program called token_word that does sell text documents exactly as I am describing
Jack Sondergaard: it uses PayPal for making a deposit of a dollar, which allows you to buy one million characters of text
Jack Sondergaard: you can quote any document, and someone reading your document pays you for what you wrote, and the person you quote for what they wrote
Jack Sondergaard: so this payment system has been implemented already
Sling Radius: I see.
Jack Sondergaard: token_word is just a test, so it still lacks many of Xanadu's features, but does show that the quotation and payment system I have been describing does work
Sling Radius: Anything to do with Knot Gallery?
Jack Sondergaard: I haven't heard of that one
Sling Radius: www.knot.org.au
Sling Radius: It was on top of Google's search results.
Sling Radius: And it seems to relate with home text.
Sling Radius: *with it's home text.
Jack Sondergaard: I just subscribed to their mailing list, so I will check it out
Sling Radius: Here it is. hypertext.sourceforge.net/token_word/
Jack Sondergaard: yes
Sling Radius: In Hyperworlds.
Jack Sondergaard: http://hyperworlds.org/#tokenword
Jack Sondergaard: yes, hyperworlds is my website
Sling Radius: Haaaa.
Jack Sondergaard: I didn't write token_word, but when the author said he was discontinuing his server, I had him install it on mine
Sling Radius: So, you're continuing with it?
Jack Sondergaard: I would like to see an Ajax front end put onto it, to make it easier to edit the pages, or see it re-written in Python or a similar langage
Jack Sondergaard: yes, there is a new project in the works to go beyond what it does
Sling Radius: Great.
Jack Sondergaard: http://hakware.twilightparadox.com/paknet/
Jack Sondergaard: there are a number of projects that demonstrate some aspect of Xanadu
Jack Sondergaard: but none have yet put it all together
Jack Sondergaard: http://hyperworlds.org/mindmaps/XanaduStructure.html
Jack Sondergaard: this diagram is one of my ideas of how it could be done
Jack Sondergaard: in many ways, it is like Second Life
Jack Sondergaard: which is very database driven
Sling Radius: I'm still in the fog. :)
Jack Sondergaard: a multi-user environment, with digital currency, buying and selling, creating right in the environment
Sling Radius: Yeah.
Jack Sondergaard: it does take some time to get a handle on it
Jack Sondergaard: it took years for me to figure out the goals, which is why I started the hyperworlds website, to make it easier for others to understand it
Jack Sondergaard: Xanadu has a long and checkered history
Sling Radius: How long are you working on it?
Jack Sondergaard: AutoDesk, the maker of AutoCAD, spent $5 on it before dropping it
Sling Radius: Five bucks?!?
Jack Sondergaard: that was back when a personal computer had 256K RAM, so they had limited tools to work with
Jack Sondergaard: 5 million, I meant
Sling Radius: hehe...Thought something was wrong there.
Sling Radius: Yeah.
Jack Sondergaard: If you use Windows, or have access to it, there is a program called Abora
Sling Radius: sf.net, too?
Jack Sondergaard: it is based on the code written decades ago, and allows side by side comparison editing and version comparison
Sling Radius: Nice.
Jack Sondergaard: http://www.abora.org/
Sling Radius: But the source of the page will still be in ANSII?
Jack Sondergaard: yes, it uses SourceForge
Sling Radius: Yeah, I found it.
Sling Radius: Or the pages, pure and simple.
Jack Sondergaard: yes, it doesn't do fancy formatting or unicode, but does demonstrate Xanadu style version comparison and quoting
Jack Sondergaard: http://xanadu.com/cosmicbook/index.html
Jack Sondergaard: CosmicBook shows windows with visible lines linking them
Jack Sondergaard: http://hypertext.sourceforge.net/docuplex/
Jack Sondergaard: and Docuplex shows what it looks like under the hood, it is one of my favorite demos
Sling Radius: I'm having problems accessing xanadu.com
Jack Sondergaard: any particular page there?
Jack Sondergaard: or all of them?
Sling Radius: The cosmic link you gave me.
Sling Radius: Now I got the page, but's still waiting for the image.
Jack Sondergaard: that's odd, it loads for me
Sling Radius: Same for the home page.
Jack Sondergaard: it used jpegs, I don't know what the problem could be
Jack Sondergaard: oh, could I post the chat log of our discussion on the hyperworlds website?
Sling Radius: Yeah, no problem.
Jack Sondergaard: thanks
Jack Sondergaard: I better get one more hour rest before going to work
Sling Radius: Now it's coming....way too slow.
Jack Sondergaard: I will schedule another discussion for next Saturday morning