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- To: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Principles
- From: "First Speaker Schol-R-LEA;2" <scholr@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 08:43:10 -0700
- Reply-to: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxx
(NOTE: I know I've posted some of this information here before, but I only
got one response to it, and had been hoping to start a discussion on the
matter. Also, the previous message with this material was sent under the
title, 'Where the Web went wrong'. At the time I either didn't know or had
forgotten that Andrew Pam had used that title for a rather different essay.
Andrew, I apologize for taking you title, unintentionally though it may
I think that it would be useful to lay down a set of goals or principles
that we could agree upon, at least tenatively. This would give the
Project's vision a concrete aspect, something that could be presented to
others without asking them to dive into the whole, as, say, _Literary
Machines_ does (no criticism intended). It would give the newcomer
something that could be clearly contrasted with the existing hypertext
systems (i.e., WWW) while still remaining true to the overall vision, and
give us all a unifying statement.
These are the principles I would propose, although probably not in this
particular language, which is a bit formal and imposing. I invite you all
to criticize, add to, reword, veto, or otherwise comment upon these
Creativity - The user must always be free to add new content.
Linking - Links are content. The user must be free to create a new
link between any two data which they can access, and use any link
that is accessible to them.
Uniqueness - There must be exactly one permanent logical source
(i.e., address) for a given datum or piece of content, with all
mirror copies being treated as a single source. Copying is used only
in the process of presentation, and local copies are must not be
Presentation - The user must be free to experience any content that
they have access to in any manner of presentation they choose, in any
form of presentation possible for the content.
Rearrangement - The user must be free to experience any content that
they have access to in as many different presentations as they
Intrusion - The user must not be forced to experience content that
they haven't chosen to experience (e.g., advertisements, spam).
Transparency - The user must not be required to know source of
content (that is, the process of accessing content shouldn't require
Tracking - The user must always be able to determine the source of
Ownership - The system must always be able to determine the ownership
of content. The owner must have the option of anonymity from the
Control - The creator of content must be able to specify exactly who
is and is not able to legitimately experience the content, and under
what restrictions (i.e., age limits) and requirements (i.e., license
agreements, royalties, user memberships).
Schol-R-LEA;2 ELF JAM LCF BiWM MGT GS (http://www.slip.net/~scholr/)
First Speaker, Last Eristic Church of Finagle and Holy Bisexuality
"If The Computer is a Universal Control System, then let's give kids
Universes to control". - Ted Nelson