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[ih] hypertext, was FTP Design

>I read somewhere (but I have forgotten where, sorry) that some of the key
>features of hypertext as seen in the 1980s were come-from links, and some
>kind of "which pages link here" feature. Neither are easy to implement in
>a very loosely coupled distributed system. TBL's great insight was that
>a much simpler hypertext system would still be useful enough provided it
>could link to any existing stuff out there on the net.

Ted Nelson has been trying to implement his Xanadu model of hypertext
since about 1969 when he did some work on a 7090 with punch cards.  It
was always essentially a closed system so all links are bidirectional,
and it can do things like track how many bytes each user fetches from
each publisher to allocate royalty payments.  It also had some cool
ideas I've never seen implemented like stretch text, a (conceptual)
handle on the side of the screen that would let you push it one way
and have all the text on a page expand, or the other way and shrink it
down to an abstract.

Tim's key idea was to figure out what was the smallest, crummiest
subset of Xanadu that would still be useful, and that's the web.  Back
in the early 1990s I figured the next big thing would be WAIS, because
I didn't see that you could, and we would, embed everything into the