- Collect information on Project Xanadu.
- Summarize the main tenets of Xanadu.
- Describe the technical difficulties presented by this project.
- Offer possible solutions.
This is the official homepage of the original hypertext project which was started in 1960!
Ted Nelson's YouTube channel with relatively recent content.
The Xanadu Australia formal problem definition is: We need a way for people to store information not as individual "files" but as a connected literature. It must be possible to create, access and manipulate this literature of richly formatted and connected information cheaply, reliably and securely from anywhere in the world. Documents must remain accessible indefinitely, safe from any kind of loss, damage, modification, censorship or removal except by the owner. It must be impossible to falsify ownership or track individual readers of any document.
This system of literature (the "Xanadu Docuverse") must allow people to create virtual copies ("transclusions") of any existing collection of information in the system regardless of ownership. In order to make this possible, the system must guarantee that the owner of any information will be paid their chosen royalties on any portions of their documents, no matter how small, whenever and wherever they are used.
Xanalogical Structure, Needed Now More than Ever:
Parallel Documents, Deep Links to Content, Deep Versioning and Deep Re-Use
This is his way of sharing content between documents. Doing this correctly seems difficult to me, because it's not a mere copy but a bidirectional link between documents that can't be broken.
This is what classic MetaNotes specialized in. Links between different (but presumably related) content.
High Level Requirements for Project Xanadu
- Every Xanadu server is uniquely and securely identified.
- Every Xanadu server can be operated independently or in a network.
- Every user is uniquely and securely identified.
- Every user can search, retrieve, create and store documents.
- Every document can consist of any number of parts each of which may be of any data type.
- Every document can contain links of any type including virtual copies ("transclusions") to any other document in the system accessible to its owner.
- Links are visible and can be followed from all endpoints.
- Permission to link to a document is explicitly granted by the act of publication.
- Every document can contain a royalty mechanism at any desired degree of granularity to ensure payment on any portion accessed, including virtual copies ("transclusions") of all or part of the document.
- Every document is uniquely and securely identified.
- Every document can have secure access controls.
- Every document can be rapidly searched, stored and retrieved without user knowledge of where it is physically stored.
- Every document is automatically moved to physical storage appropriate to its frequency of access from any given location.
- Every document is automatically stored redundantly to maintain availability even in case of a disaster.
- Every Xanadu service provider can charge their users at any rate they choose for the storage, retrieval and publishing of documents.
- Every transaction is secure and auditable only by the parties to that transaction.
- The Xanadu client-server communication protocol is an openly published standard. Third-party software development and integration is encouraged.