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Summary of ZigZag

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 17:28:22 -0700
To: zigzag@xxxxxxxxxx
From: Ted Nelson <ted@xxxxxxxxxx>

ZigZag(tm) is a new way to build or represent anything, based on a
 fundamental new unit of structure which makes everything simpler. 

All software and data are built on lists, tables, hierarchies, connections,
 collections, and other forms of internal structuring-- but tying them
 together has been clumsy.  ZZstructure is a new building block for
 all structure that simplifies them all and makes tying them together
 amazingly simple.

(Actually, this is not really new-- it was always there, but nobody noticed,
 because everybody was used to 2-dimensional paper and 3-dimensional
 presentations as somehow representing the Outer Limits.  It turns out that
 if you go to more dimensions, everything gets MUCH SIMPLER. 
 Because all items may be connected more than once, in different
 arrangements and combinations, a much simpler structure for all
 information may be created-- with much less copying, and the creation
 of far fewer derivative lists.)

All ZZ dimensions are alike.  But they don't have the spatial limitations of
 our conventional world, since they're based on local connections.
 There is no overall coordinate system, only "paths" of successive
 steps and turns to get to some other particular place.

The ZigZag viewing mechanism makes sense of it all to your eye by
 showing only two or three dimensions at a time, *showing a local view
 from a cursor*.  That limits the visual complexity.  We also limit the
 mental complexity with very simple recommendations as to how to use
 the dimensions we pre-build, when and how to create more dimensions,

Our unit of structure is the dimensional connection (plus or minus) in
 multidimensional space.  (We are tentatively calling these dimensional
 connections *cahoots*.)  Each cell may have up to two connections in
 any dimension.  That is essentially the entire structure.

What you do with it is up to you.  At the new ZigZag Lab (name not yet
 decided) in Finland, and on the Floating World(tm) project for a new
 personal-computer universe, we are planning to do *everything* with it.

All this work will be Open Source.  (See xanadu.com for the perl
 ZigZag prototype by Andrew Pam, and sourceforge.net for the Java
 prototype ("gzigzag") under the direction of Tuomas J. Lukka.

Theodor Holm Nelson              
Project Professor, Keio University SFC Campus, Fujisawa, Japan
Visiting Professor, University of Southampton, England
 ?  e-mail: ted@xxxxxxxxxx   ?  world-wide fax 1/415/332-0136
 ?  http://www.sfc.keio.ac.jp/~ted/    ?  http://www.xanadu.net
 ? Coordinates in USA      Tel. 415/ 331-4422
  Project Xanadu, 3020 Bridgeway #295, Sausalito CA 94965