AltME Checklist: Steps to creating Xanadu

Date: 25-Apr-2006 4:00:43 PM

Item Pri Notes Modified
Write complete set of specifications 100 Describe the requirements of the back-end software: data structures, API, functions, objects, languages used, etc. Describe some front-end applications: user interaction, appearance, "screenshots", animations, interactive demos. 21-Apr-2006 10:19:34 PM
Create more prototypes 95 such as: Rebol based front-ends to token_word and transquoter, something that runs in altme that demonstrates Xanadu features (version comparison, transclusions) 22-Apr-2006 12:23:59 AM
Choose languages to use 80 Rebol, Revolution, Python, Jython, Vpython, C++, Java, Squeak Smalltalk, Flash, Quicktime 24-Apr-2006 10:43:25 PM

AltME Checklist: Languages

Date: 25-Apr-2006 4:01:15 PM

Item Pri Notes Modified
VPython 95 Very easy to create 3D graphics. Not fast to install. Open source. Excellent scripting language. Can link into C and C++ to optimize the intensive parts. 24-Apr-2006 3:16:24 AM
Rebol View 90 Only one file to download and run. Cross platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, many others. Can mimic other languages using dialecting. Very powerful graphics capabilities. Weak on sound and video, without getting into C or C++. Not open source, but a free version is available. 24-Apr-2006 3:16:35 AM
Revolution 90 Hypercard like cross-platform language. Excellent scripting capabilities. Can create standalone executables for many OS's. Proprietary. Easy to learn drag and drop interface building. Reader program is free, creater program is somewhat expensive. 24-Apr-2006 3:16:59 AM
Squeak Smalltalk 85 Very object oriented. Open source and cross-platform. Fun interface. A language, operating system, and browser plug-in. 24-Apr-2006 3:16:43 AM
Flash 75 Web friendly scriptable animation software. Used widely for database driven websites. Very difficult to learn, as the animation tools differ greatly from other animation tools, is non-intuitive, and complex. Reader software is free, but creator is expensive. 24-Apr-2006 3:17:21 AM
C, C++ 70 For optimization only after the design is first proven in easier languages, such as vpython or Rebol. Continue to use scripting languages for parts that don't need speed. 24-Apr-2006 3:17:09 AM

AltME Checklist: Reasons why Xanadu has been delayed

Date: 27-Apr-2006 9:15:06 AM

Item Pri Notes Modified
Poor documentation 90 Use easier to understand languages and/or heavily comment the code 22-Apr-2006 11:23:50 AM
Inadequate PR 85 Communicate via books, mailing lists, dissertations, spec sheets, etc. what the design goals, purposes, methods are. Use animations, podcasts, movies, audio recordings, diagrams, and anything else that helps clarify the goals. Make demos, prototypes, partial implementations to show what is possible. Don't over-hype, just deliver clearly defined and easily understandable information. 25-Apr-2006 4:22:38 PM
Language barriers: such as undefined words 80 Have readily accessible glossaries for any new words created, and link to these. Define new words as they are used until they come into common use. 22-Apr-2006 11:30:06 AM
Lack of funding 75 Although much was spent by Autodesk ($5 million USD), it was dropped before finished, and the tools to build it are better now. Also, prototyping (scripting) languages are better now. Several good full-time programmers might get it operational soon. 25-Apr-2006 4:20:09 PM
Lack of communication between collaborators 70 That is what this "world" is here to help solve, and also a number of websites 25-Apr-2006 10:55:48 PM

AltME Checklist: Xanadu, zigzag - Floating World feature set

Date: 27-Apr-2006 9:15:15 AM

Item Pri Notes Modified
Transclusions 100 Like see-thru layers of film to composite a movie, these make it all possible: versioning, unbreakable links, simplified payment systems, rampant re-use of content, a new copyright system that benefits everyone. 25-Apr-2006 8:09:39 PM
Links 95 2-way bidirectional facilitates linking documents to subsequent related ones. Unbreakable, even if new versions are created, files renamed, directories changed. Different types for different uses and users. Sets of links can be selected and overlayed to avoid confusion from too many being viewed at once. Filters allow choosing whose links you want to see or not see. 25-Apr-2006 8:10:10 PM
Versioning 90 Never alter the original. Changes always create a new version that transcludes the original or other versions. 25-Apr-2006 8:09:49 PM
Separate content from format, views, dimensions, etc. 90 This facilitates transcluding parts of documents without imbedded formatting codes interfering. It also allows for various formats to be selectively applied to a document to suit the need: print, personal computer, PDA, wireless phone, big screen movie, database access, etc. 25-Apr-2006 8:10 PM

AltME Checklist: Xanadu goals

Date: 25-Apr-2006 4:01:50 PM

Item Pri Notes Modified
Facilitate true diversity of thought and expression 100 Don't just paraphrase another viewpoint, instead transclude a quote that links to the full context. Display it side by side with other viewpoints. Two-way unbreakable links allow for refutation, clarification, supporting evidence, discussion to the extent that is needed in a truly supportive literary technology. 23-Apr-2006 12:33:29 AM
Present reality and thought in it's true degree of complexity 100 Don't cram a subject into an isolated black box. Show how it is related to other things. Open several windows and have link lines between spans of content. Bring the current focus into highlight by magnifying it's size. Have dynamic mindmaps that redraw as the center of focus is shifted. Open floating windows with more detail as needed. Let the subject matter dictate the structure, not the computer's filing system. 23-Apr-2006 12:33:23 AM

AltME Checklist: Common misconceptions about Xanadu

Date: 27-Apr-2006 9:15:31 AM

Item Pri Notes Modified
The web has rendered Xanadu obsolete. 100 Xanadu was designed before the web, but is more advanced. Probably many features from the web will find their way into Xanadu front-end software, and there is likely to be a lot of interconnections between the two. Some of Xanadu's features will also be implemented into various web sites, but if it has all the specifications of Xanadu, it is Xanadu( whether it runs in a "browser" or not). 25-Apr-2006 7:47:01 PM
It runs on only one server 90 The specifications call for connecting many servers. Each document has a unique address, but the various servers can look that up, cache it in several places (at least 3), and load balance as needed. 25-Apr-2006 7:47:19 PM
It will be a huge bloated program 85 The back-end server only uses a few commands to query it. The front-end will not be just one program, but many programs that do just what is wanted for a particular purpose. There will be many front-ends, some very simple, some very complex, and many in-between. 25-Apr-2006 10:54:55 PM
All documents in Xanadu cost money 80 The cost, or lack of cost, will be be set by the content creator. If you want to provide and/or use only what is free, you are free to do so. 25-Apr-2006 7:47:32 PM

AltME Checklist: Sociological problems some will have with Xanadu

Date: 27-Apr-2006 9:15:40 AM

Item Pri Notes Modified
I don't want others to link to my document 0 It will take some getting used to. Some people don't like to be criticized, but they need to realize that they can criticize the criticism. If they aren't up to that, they may choose to keep their writings off of Xanadu. 26-Apr-2006 1:12:38 PM
But I don't want others to transclude my document 0 Xanadu will have the option for documents to be sealed, but there is a catch. They won't be able to charge for it. Many businesses will use this option for advertizements for their products, and financial information. 26-Apr-2006 1:12:05 PM
What we have now is "good enough" 0 What we have now is often considered good enough until something better comes along. 26-Apr-2006 1:11:09 PM
It will be too hard to use 0 Try to design a commercial web page using current tools. That might cause you to rethink your opinion. The front-end software can be as simple or complex as needed to view and edit the same content. 26-Apr-2006 1:15 PM
But there will be too many links if anyone can create them 0 That's why they will be filterable and typed. You can use dimensions to choose which to view. You can filter out links from any individuals or groups. 26-Apr-2006 1:09:38 PM