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RE: Anniversary of Xanadu Going Open Source

I generally agree with this.  If anything concrete (i.e. beyond the vision)
is to survive from Xanadu it must be the ideas, not the code.  Having looked
at the code I cannot understand the ideas (of course this is typical for
most code).  If Roger or another would explain these keys ideas, i.e.
"document" the implementation, we would all benefit.  Even if the "world
wide" web does not follow Xanadu, it might be desirable for certain users to
follow the Xanadu model of recording all the changes rather than editing in
place.  This becomes a more viable strategy as the cost for storage drops,
considering how small all text is.  It would be even more viable as
sequential media such as tapes become cheaper.  It might help with a variety
of real world problems, including backup and revision control.  It also
seems to match Gelertner's "lifestreams" model, i.e. might be preferable
from a user interface perspective.

Hopefully helpfully yours,
Steven Tolkin          steve.tolkin@xxxxxxx      617-563-0516 
Fidelity Investments   82 Devonshire St. R24D    Boston MA 02109
There is nothing so practical as a good theory.  Comments are by me, 
not Fidelity Investments, its subsidiaries or affiliates. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Rush [mailto:jrush@xxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 11:10 AM
To: udanax@xxxxxxxxxx; roger@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Anniversary of Xanadu Going Open Source

Greetings all.  I've just joined the list and finished reading
the archives.  Pretty sparse they are.  Is anyone interested
in further discussions about Xanada?

I'm interested in the specific technology embodied in the
green and gold sources, and perhaps someone can explain.

I have so many questions it's hard to start but before I
do, I have established a ZWiki (open-access shared whiteboard)
on my server at:


Anyone can visit and revise the contents.  In a radical move
I've opened read/write access up to anyone.  This is in
celebration of the Xanadu-going-OpenSource, one year ago.

First question:

What the *heck* is the Ent?  I have read everything I can
find and *nothing* describes its algorithms.

Roger, could you take a moment and tackle this one?  I'd
treat you to a nice dinner for a spec sufficient for
reimplementation. ;-)

Second question:

Can we get the General Theory of Enfilades down on paper
someplace?  Ted Nelson made such a big deal of it being
a breakthru and while it's a form of tree, the generalization
of the WIDativity and DSPativity to other things eludes me.

-Jeff Rush