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Re: Definition of Xanadu per Ted and Kathy

>Second:  the reference to "managing changes" and "intercomparison" in
>documents strikes me as *particularly* important.  It's odd that the HTML

Why is it odd? The Web is cool because it is a hyperlinked information
system on a global scale. It's cool because it's widely available, 
fairly stable, and, as time goes by, it's gaining lots of flashy 

>"world wide web" protocol completely ignores archiving and management
>issues.  If the article to which you have hyperlinked is changed, without
>notice, and the old version removed, to what are you now pointing?  The
>inability of one-way hyperlinks to deal with that problem has been utterly
>ignored, as far as I can tell.

..but it is not a robust hypertext system. The fact that such things
as version control and dangling pointers have been ignored is evidence
of this. The designers of the Web were (presumably) aware of these 
shortcomings, but they chose to accept them in favor of an easier
implementation scheme. I think it's an understandable tradeoff.

Most people are totally enthralled by the Web, but a lot of people are
saying "it's a good first attempt". Unfortunately, it seems like it
might be just good enough to hang around for a long time...and not bad
enough to be worth scrapping in order to implement a new standard. 

If I may draw a comparison from another medium, I would say that the
Web is like regular television and Xanadu would be like HDTV. Every-
one agrees it's a quantum leap forward, but nobody wants to lose the
investments they've made in old technology.

>In my field (law), twenty or thirty successive versions of a document are
>not uncommon.  The idea of a "final" document, the finality of which
>justifies throwing out all the historical drafts and previous work, is fast
>becoming obsolete.  

Agreed. Instead of "draft" and "final" versions, I prefer to think of
my documents as being "previous" and "current", but (almost) always in
a state of flux. In fact, of all the documents I deal with, it is only
the least significant that are ever "final". Even something as minor as
this email message is likely to be edited by someone else (perhaps in
the process of replying), and bits of it may live on for days or weeks,
continuing to change...but never being "final".

Happy St. Patrick's Day!   (visit http://holiday.ritech.com/)

Drew Ivan