Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Xanadu--some initial reactions

Author:Don Hopkins
Posted:8/27/1999; 9:50:10 PM
Topic:Xanadu--some initial reactions
Msg #:10163 (In response to 9959)
Prev/Next:10162 / 10164

I sent this to Dave and he insisted I post it, but I'm not sure it will fit, so I'm posting it in parts... I suppose Xanadu would solve all these problems, but hey we're stuck with the World Wide Web today, so you're all going to have to SUFFER!!! Condolences in advance.


From: Hopkins, Don <> To: <> Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 1999 7:59 PM Subject: RE: Ted Nelson Returns

Sheez. You don't actually believe anybody will be able to do anything useful with all that source code, do you? Take a look at the code. It's mostly uncommented glue gluing glue to glue. Nothing reusable there.

Have you gotten it running? The documentation included was not very helpful. Is there a web page that tells me how to run Xanadu? Did you have to install Python, and run it in a tty window?

What would be much more useful, would be some well written design documents and port-mortems, comparisons with current technologies like DHTML, XML, XLink, XPath, HyTime, XSL, etc, and proposals for extending current technologies and using them to capture the good ideas of Xanadu.

Has Xanadu been used to document its own source code? How does it compare to, say, the browseable cross-referenced mozilla source code? Or Knuth's classic Literate Programming work with TeX?

Most of the stuff that's going on with XML is much more down-to-earth, up-to-date and interesting.

A simple, reusable library like Jim Clark's Expat XML parser gets me a lot closer to my goal, than all that hot air about grandiose theories that have never been tested in the real world.


From: Dave Winer [] Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 1999 8:06 PM To: Hopkins, Don Subject: Re: Ted Nelson Returns

I agree with you, but let them have a little bit of sunshine. Ted Nelson was a big influence on me, and for that I am grateful. Dave

[To be continued in the next message...]

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