[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [xanadu] flecks ?????
- To: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: [xanadu] flecks ?????
- From: ____Textpert Alert____ <ianf@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 04:24:26 +0200
- Reply-to: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxx
Writes Andrew Pam:
>> where did it come from?
> From "flecks of gold", since Hypergold / Hypercoin was
> originally intended to be denominated in fractions of
> a gram of gold. (Similar to e-gold, for example).
Atom-sized fractions, I hope ;-)) I asked because, without
the metaphor, the term "fleck" on its own sounded just too...
"flecky," flesh-'n-icky, somewhat inedible to me. Still does
to the uninvited.
>> Xanadu had its moment _before_ the emergence of the WWW,
>> and for a while, after being acquired by AutoDesk, Inc.
>> in 1990?, it looked like it had a shot at it. But it
>> never realized that potential, and now it's long past
>> its sell-by date. Maybe, in a couple decades, when the
>> Internet is truly global and mature, the enfiladas have
>> been ironed out, and a new digital-access paradigm shift
>> is approaching, maybe then... but not otherwise.
> I'm disappointed in you, Ian! As a long-time Xanadu follower,
> you should well know that the Xanadu design evolved beyond the
> idea of a proprietary network since at least 1993-94. The
> present design has been based on a set of individually specified
> but integratable modules, some of which already have open-source
> prototype implementations, for some years now.
Andrew, your disappointment in me is nothing compared to my
disappointment over Xanadu never materializing. I know that
you've "hitched your wagon onto the star", and wish you good
luck, but, frankly, I don't harbour much hope for the "modules"
idea. Somehow the notion that one can arrive at the lofty goal
little by little, Xanadu-Peu-En-Peu, doesn't ring true to me.
Xanadu was supposed to be an electronic analogy to literature,
which, as you remember, is "a publishing system that works."
Because there were no blueprints, (post-Gutenberg) literature
took couple centuries to mature. With a blueprint like that,
any extension or analogous system shouldn't take that long, but
it'd still need to arrive on the scene and establish its advan-
tages in one go, all of a sudden. Now, do you really see that
happening anyplace anytime soon?
> Things like XNS and Mojo Nation not only demonstrate the gradual
> acceptance or rediscovery of the Xanadu ideas, but indeed could
> in some cases potentially serve as part of a Xanadu system if
> compliant with the requirements.
Right you are, but what good are these requirements if they
change (or "evolve") that drastically with the times, that
they start to sound like a travesty of the original item?
I for one cannot imagine how it could be done --within current
paradigm of IP-based communications-- WITHOUT a proprietary
network, a whole new docuverse parallelling (and overlaying?)
the open-access WWW, all based on the same proprietary back-
end-frontend technology with built-in granular transclusion,
accounting and billing capabilities (as per Ted's original
concept; in WWW the latter later named "micropayments" --
still nowhere near in sight [see url below]).
As you can see, I do not criticise the idea
on technical grounds (which is your outlook
and area of expertise); indeed am sure
theoretically it could be done. Rather,
I gradually came to doubt it on philo-
sophical grounds alone.
Look around you: do you see ANY complex system (of anything)
that is *perfect*, elegant, or sticks together without constant
infusion of spit, chewing gum and sellotape? I cannot think of
any, much less complex ones, that to a large degree aren't
kludges, "the usual muddle", compost heaps of conflicting
good intentions. Perhaps we humans are predisposed to chaotic
management of chaos, and simply feel no need for excellence?
That certainly is closer to the spirit of the WWW, which has
proved that it works, scales adequately, and is not owned by
anyone. But nothing short of perfection will do for Xanadu.
In the end the very idea is too elegant, too much of a paper
construct, too inherently beautiful for its own good. That's
why I called it a d r e a m. Don't let me wake you up.