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[ih] ARC's NLS (was: Re: FTP Design)

(changed subject to reflect changed focus.)

On 7/3/2012 12:43 PM, John Day wrote:
>>  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.
>> Mumble.  The linking mechanism in Engelbart's system was similarly
>> simple.  It was not inter-machine, but it was textual and evaluated at
>> run-time.
> No, but Englebart was pushing the limits of what could be done with the
> current hardware.  If you talked to him at the time, they definitely
> believed it would be over multiple machines.  That was the intent.  But
> it took 20 years for the hardware to catch up.

I was describing the behavior, not the intent.  I've no doubt they would 
have enhanced the syntax over time.  I don't think that hardware limits 
had anything to do with it.  At base, ARC was not a networking 
(distributed processing) project, in spite of the fact that the SRI guys 
were heavily involved in the networking work.  Still from my 
recollections of their work, I believe the incremental processing for 
going cross-net to access documents wouldn't have been all that onerous. 
  Rather, the project wound down about the time I'd have expected that 
enhancement to be pursued.

> Remember NLS screens were TV camera shots of 4 or 6 inch higher
> resolution screens in the machine room.

Initially, yes.  But they eventually supported remote IMLAC graphics 
stations across the net.  Somewhere around '73 or '74 I was a beta 
tester for it, down in L.A.  It's when I first learning how challenging 
a mouse-tracking algorithm can be in a noisy environment...  (It's also 
the only time I needed to write a machine-boot program.)

>> Another major design difference was that gopher provided no useful
>> information until you reached the leaf, whereas the web could produce
>> an 'interesting' document with every click.  That is, the Web
>> permitted a far sexier experience, of course.
> Careful again.  Don't confuse the web with the development of the
> browser.  They were distinct developments.

I didn't.  cf, my note to Tony.


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking