Ghosts of Xanadu

Ghosts of Xanadu. Backlinking crudely approximates the two-way linking feature of an early hypertext system invented by Ted Nelson called Xanadu. Nelson coined the term Hypertext—the linking of information and a system for viewing it—in 1963 (its actual invention is thought to be by Vannevar BushD in 1945), but his project was hampered by the technology of the time as well as Nelson's noble flaw: a passion for maximum efficiency and correctness. Nelson spent most of his life developing an impressively overengineered system that would have been perfect if only his team had the strength to complete it, and Xanadu's glory was stolen from under its feet by a much quicker and dirtier system invented by Tim Berners-Lee in the late 1980s: the World Wide Web. (Ted's rather bitter about this, understandably.)

A counterpoint to last week's featured essay by Ted Nelson.  [PHP Everywhere]

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