Ted’s Radical DesignsTed’s designs over the years have always been radical —
derived from first principles rather than computer traditions
Nelson DocumentsFor the new world of written thought — electronic documents — Ted proposed visible, side-by-side connections that could never exist on paper.
He called these documents “hypertext” — now called Xanadu® publishing — a system for interactive documents with two-way, permanent and visible connections — far beyond the jump-links of hypertext on the Web, which Ted inspired. Ted’s original 1966 Xanadu proposal to his boss Bill Jovanovich makes a fascinating read .
In 1979, Ted and his brilliant team of equally contrary software architects designed a radical structure for an entire universe of connected documents, based on a unique addressing scheme, now called “Xanadu Classic.” Xanadu Classic The Web gave us a different kind of addressing, the URL.
Ted has continued the Xanadu design, now using URL addresses (“Xanadu Purple”), although this is less powerful.
Xanadu documents show not only two-way links, but “transclusions” — content from other sources that remains visibly connected to those sources.
RightsFor content assembled in the user’s viewer, Ted has proposed a new legal arrangement — transcopyright (abbreviated trans©), a different kind of legal republishing permission, which allows one publisher's content to be included in any amount in another publisher’s document, without prior arrangement but not ending hope of payment (as do Creative Commons and GPL).
Surprise! Transcopyright was for a time the official permission of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Microsale and MicropaymentFor content assembled in the user’s viewer, Ted designed a system that sells by the element, which can be as small as a single character, image, or video frame, as determined by the transcopyright holder. The transcopyright holder also sets the price per element.
DataFor organizing and visualizing data, Ted designed a different world — the ZigZag® structure engine.
ZigZag structure is unlike conventional spreadsheets and tables (which must be rectangular), and conventional data structure (which must be hierarchical).
Instead, ZigZag gives us an alternative that is based on lists of cells, which can be linked in any number of directions, with special consequences for visualization and animation.
ZigZag is also an application builder, allowing simple construction of new software.
TimeFor visualizing time — planning and keeping track of any kind of item — Ted designed the
Why visualize time as clocks and calendars, when time is a continuum?
Note-TakingFor taking notes while walking or driving,
Ted has designed the
a one-handed typing device, using standard hardware.
The user can keep one hand on the wheel and still correct typing errors.
By embedding ZigZag structure in Xanadu documents — something like embedding a spreadsheet in Microsoft Word — external data and even continually updated calculations can appear throughout the text.
UTMOS can also be used as a radical overlay for conventional operating systems — allowing virtual rearrangement of files without actually moving the files around.
Xanadu Office (intended for in-house or proprietary applications) will allow users to maintain a connected narrative of work and projects, transcluded from email messages, design documents, versions of legal document drafts or any other closed-system documentation. This software suite is intended for retaining understanding, the sequence of ideas and accountability.