incorporates a principle similar to one named "transcopyright" by Ted
Nelson. ACM will hold its copyrighted works on its servers and will
give free and
unlimited permission to create and copy links to those works or their
components. So that readers can locate the context from which an excerpt
was drawn, ACM will provide a way of linking a component to its parent
work. Readers following links will gain access upon payment of a fee
or presentation of a valid authorization certificate to ACM or ACM's
agent; ACM or its agent will issue a personalized certificate of ownership
to that reader.
Association of Computing Machinery; ACM
Interim Copyright Policy; Version 2; 1995-11-15.
Ted Nelson invented
hypertext, the concept behind links on the web, influencing several developers
most notably Tim
Ted Nelson's mother was an actress, and his father was a director. He went
to Swarthmore College in the
late 1950's, where he became a film maker. He then went to graduate
school at the University of Chicago in 1959, followed by Harvard University
in 1960, where he
a course in
using an IBM 7090 computer and began to think about writing a document management
system to index and organize his collection of notes.
As he considered
the design of this system, Nelson applied his experience as a filmmaker with
the conception of complex motion picture effects, moving from one shot to another,
and conceived of the idea of hypertext. He became profoundly convinced of the
enormous value of such a system, and has been thinking and talking about it
since (page once at http://web.archive.org/web/20001202050700/www.sensemedia.net/993).
job was as a photographer and film editor at a Miami laboratory where John Lilly
was carrying out research on the intelligence of dolphins, using LINC microcomputers
to analyze their talking, as fascinated by acoustics as
J.C.R. Licklider. Nelson then moved to a job teaching sociology at
word "hypertext" was first coined by Nelson in 1963, and is first found in print
in a college newspaper article about a lecture he gave called "Computers, Creativity,
and the Nature of the Written Word" in January, 1965:
Mike Joyce's Ted Sed
later popularized the hypertext concept in his book Literary Machines.
His vision involved implementation of a "docuverse", where all data was stored
once, there were no deletions, and all information was accessible by a link from
anywhere else. Navigation through the information would be non-linear, depending
on each individual's choice of links. This was more than text -- it was hypertext.
The web realizes part of this vision, except that there are deletions, and some
information is stored in more than one place.
has continued to develop his theory, and instantiates it with Project
Xanadu, a high-performance hypertext system that assures the identity of
references to objects, and solves the problems of configuration management and
control. Anyone is allowed to reference anything, provided that references are
delivered from the original, and possibly involving micro payments to the copyright
the Xanadu system would enable an artist to post their work in electronic form
and let it be accessed any number of times, without having to worry about suddenly
receiving an insupportable bill for network bandwidth costs. By adding useful
structure, the system frees up the information and makes it available to everyone.
Nelson has also worked on the following systems:
-- Interactive Non-Linear Undo and Versioning -- A rich compatibility standard
for interconnection between different types of software.
-- A web enabled copyright and delivery method allowing people to republish other's
work freely. Nelson's picture at the top of this page is transpublished.
-- A multi-dimensional system of interconnections between all sorts of objects,
processes, and documents, with a shareware version for Linux.
of the organizations Nelson has worked with are listed below:
Xanadu Group. Nelson first used the term "Xanadu" to
refer to his hypertext vision in 1967. In 1979 Nelson convened The Xanadu Group,
Stuart Greene, Roger Gregory, Roland King, Eric Hill, Mark Miller, and K. Eric
Drexler, to work on the design for a database and file system to implement a
Operating Company. Nelson created the Xanadu Operating Company, Inc. (XOC)
Conference. The first
hypertext conference was held in 1987, supported by 23 companies, including
Apple Computer, Bell Communications Research, Harvard University, and Xerox PARC,
and published 29 research papers.
- Autodesk. In
February, 1988, the company Autodesk bought the Xanadu project and the
Xanadu trademark. In August, 1992, they licensed the rights to the XOC
software to Memex,
Inc (later "Filoli"), named after Vannevar Bush's system,
and the "Xanadu" trademark was given back to Nelson.
- Serious Cybernetics.
In 1993, Nelson reformulated his ideas as a system of business publishing relationships,
and licensed the specification to Serious Cybernetics in Australia as Xanadu
HyperLab. In 1994, Nelson moved to Japan and founded the Sapporo HyperLab.
The latest specification was licensed to what was then SenseMedia
as Xanadu America. One of the last pages is here.
- Keio University.
In 1996, Nelson became
a Professor of Environmental Information at Keio
University at Shonan Fujisawa, Japan.
- Oxford Internet Institute. In 2004, Nelson was the first
recipient of a new Visiting Fellowship at Wadham College linked to the
Nelson also maintains a home
page on hyperland.com.
Resources. Nelson's hypertext ideas influenced
and Microcosm projects, Apple
HyperCard -- the first
commercial hypertext system developed by Bill
Atkinson, and the Lotus