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Re: [xanadu] The sunless-sea.net meta-cyber-archaeology project, and Xanadu back-ends


Thank you very much for your response!  I have been thinking about
products, particularly in the law-firm and technical-standardization
contexts (those I know best).  May I ask a few questions?

- Does the back end care whether the front end sends FEBE commands
while the user is editing, or batches them up and shoots them off at
the end of an editing session?  I understand holding the commands
would mean that other users wouldn't see changes until they were

- Law firm document management systems have to be able to expunge
items on command.  Is Green, on R/W disks, capable of forgetting
specified documents?  (Obviously not for WORM storage :) )  Is Gold,
by any chance?

- Does the team have any thoughts about handling an editing session in
which a user deletes text, changes his mind, and then retypes the
deleted text rather than hitting Undo?  I do that periodically, and I
imagine others do as well.  The front end could certainly diff
paragraph-by-paragraph and collapse insertions and deletions of the
same text, but I'm wondering if you've figured out a better way.

I appreciate that your time is limited and am grateful for any
thoughts you can provide.  May I memorialize them on my sunless-sea

Many thanks!


On 8/25/15, roger gregory <roger@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Sorry for the delay, and I don't have much time now, but I thought I should
> send you something so you know I'm listening.
> Ive been sitting on xanadu green (as described in Literary Machines),
> looking for a customer or a product.  I've put
> too many years into it since 1976, but till I have some real target product
> or user (not Ted) I'm trying not to write more code.
> The server needs a bit of work, to work with machines a million times larger
> than the 80 Meg disk Sun one that we built it on, currently
> the disk bit map is limited to a few gig, and it would take a few days to
> fix that.  The bigger question on that is the rightish design, but the real
> thing is what it the product.
> Roger Gregory 415 572-9634
> On Aug 9, 2015, at 8:43 AM, Christopher White <cxwembedded@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>> To all to whom these presents shall come, greetings!
>> My name is Chris White and I am new to the Xanadu list.  I have been
>> interested in Xanadu since reading Ted's BYTE Magazine article
>> "Managing Immense Storage" many years ago and have a well-thumbed copy
>> of Literary Machines on my shelf.  I work as a patent agent so am
>> painfully familiar with the need for versioning, transclusion, and
>> bidirectional linking.  I also have nearly thirty years' programming
>> experience, so am approaching 10,000 lines of MS Word VBA written to
>> automate the tedious parts of my job.
>> I think a xanalogical document system would be valuable even if the
>> user never saw it.  Hacking MS Word documents involves knowing the
>> side effects of the function calls you make.  Changes one place in the
>> document can silently break fields or text elsewhere in the document.
>> And don't get me started on the difficulties of writing macros that
>> work with all the permutations of whether or not changes are tracked
>> or visible!
>> By contrast, a system carrying formatting in the links on the bytes
>> would localize changes and greatly ease document automation.  Even for
>> a single, static word-processor document with no links outside itself
>> --- and even if the user never knew what was under the hood ---
>> xanalogical storage and representation would save the world countless
>> hours of MS Office add-in programmer heartache every year.
>> Has there been any discussion of using Xanadu as a storage engine in
>> this or other ways?  Since I'm coming late to the party, I am hoping
>> you smart folks know some pitfalls to avoid if I sit down to try
>> something (in my copious spare time, of course :/ ).
>> To get started, I visited sunless-sea.net to refresh my memory of
>> Xanadu internals.  I was dismayed to find that it was both down and
>> missing from archive.org.  Thankfully, Berend van Berkum had saved a
>> mirror of the plain text (many thanks, Berend!).  I have converted it
>> to HTML it in a coarse way and am please to present, in hopes that it
>> helps, an active mirror at https://cxw42.github.io/ .  Pull requests
>> are welcome for additional content.  Somebody's (whose?) paper on the
>> Ent is now back live with its full-color illustrations!
>> I look forward to discussion and to any thoughts anyone has on
>> xanalogical storage engines or on the sunless-sea mirror.  Thank you
>> in advance for welcoming me to the list!
>> Sincerely,
>> Christopher White