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Douglas Engelbart's HyperScope 1.0 Launched

kdawson posted more than 8 years ago | from the father-of-us-all dept.

82

ReadWriteWeb writes, "HyperScope 1.0 is a new Web app based on Douglas Engelbart's 1968 NLS/Augment (oNLine System). Engelbart and team have been working on Hyperscope since March of this year in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Its aim is to rebuild portions of Engelbart's NLS, on the Web, using current Web technologies such as Ajax and DHTML. In effect it gives an advanced browsing experience, including classic hypertext features like indirect links and transclusions of remote pieces of other documents. HyperScope has been completely built with open source JavaScript toolkit Dojo — meaning that everything is done on the client-side."

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Nice, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16049764)

Nice, but can it perform cunnilingus on a hardwood floor?

Re:Nice, but... (-1, Offtopic)

gameforge (965493) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049796)

I don't think the hardwood floor would like that very much... plus it's bad to lick anything that people walk on OR has floorshine on it.

is this really a good idea? (3, Interesting)

Desolator144 (999643) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049767)

If it takes you 10x longer to design the content and the person viewing the page can find what they want 10x faster then is it really a net gain? (no pun intended) It still is a good way to organize information and beats the crap out of the way some webpage makers do it. It sure would save surfing/researching time but is that a good tradeoff for a massive slowdown in content creation speed because of the page maker having to add all the meta data type stuff?

Re:is this really a good idea? (5, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049805)

If it takes you 10x longer to design the content and the person viewing the page can find what they want 10x faster then is it really a net gain?
Maybe it won't make sense if only a single person is viewing it, but with hundreds, the gain could be very useful. Not just to the readers, but the writer too - if 100 people view the doc and 75% of them are able to understand it better thanks to this, that's much less questions the writer will have to waste time answering.

Re:is this really a good idea? (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049809)

If it takes you 10x longer to design the content and the person viewing the page can find what they want 10x faster then is it really a net gain?

What if two people find what they want 10x faster? (Other than what would really happen: companies would switch from 10 words on an ad-filled page to 5 words each?) There are generally more content consumers than creators, both in the general sense as well as in the case of just about any field.

Re:is this really a good idea? (2, Interesting)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049820)

and it seems to be not compatible with Opera [the browser I'm using now] so I tried loading it in IE7 RC1 and only got it to work after around 4 or 5 "permission to run active x controls" (you know, that yellow information toolbar)

So then I browsed the demo, hmmm.. the interface looks fresh and promising, but for compatability reasons, it is much easier (and faster) to browse a document thru html links or by printing them. Although I believe this HyperScope concept (or something similar) is bound to be popular to certain kinds of documents (especially long documents).

but.. I'd miss the 25-page articles with all the subliminal ads. :)

Re:is this really a good idea? (1)

sixteeninchdrilldo (935435) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050120)

I couldn't agree more [rotten.com] gay nigger for life

Re:is this really a good idea? (1)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050133)

If it takes you 10x longer to design it, and users can find what they're after 2x faster, and there are 5 users, then yes - there is a nett gain.
Development/design is generally done once, but reading and digesting the information happens over and over again, by many many different people.

Wiki? (1)

ScruffyNerf (1000395) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049779)

IMHO it seems that this would be a good add-in for community reference materials like wiki's.

Unfortunately the spammers will probably hook into this first... or the 'Web 2.0' crowd.

Re:Wiki? (3, Informative)

ballermann (124688) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050520)

Eugene Kim [1] (why didn't the poster give him credit? It's mostly his work, but I guess Doug is just a tid bit more popular) presented the system at WikiSym2006 [2] and did indeed show how to integrate this as additional view into a Wiki (I think he used his PurpleWiki [3])

[1] http://www.eekim.com/blog/ [eekim.com]
[2] http://wikisym.org/ws2006/ [wikisym.org]
[3] http://www.blueoxen.com/tools/purplewiki/ [blueoxen.com]

How does it compare to Xanadu? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049812)

Community orientation, granular targeting, indirect linking and of course transclusion were all part of the Xanadu vision. How's this different, except for the notable distinction of actually existing?

Re:How does it compare to Xanadu? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049913)

All the buzzwords are completely different!

Re:How does it compare to Xanadu? (2, Insightful)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050001)

Existing seems to be HyperScope's big advantage.

Re:How does it compare to Xanadu? (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#16053605)

Also it doesn't seem to go in for micropayments everywhere.

Re:How does it compare to Xanadu? (1)

Myself (57572) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050138)

Ahh, glad I looked for mentions of Project Xanadu [xanadu.com.au] before posting! Yes, this sounds like a rehash of the same ideas.

Existing is good.

Re:How does it compare to Xanadu? (1)

BradNeuberg (3364) | more than 8 years ago | (#16055069)

This is also a reimplementation of the original hypertext system, the one that invented hyperlinks in the 60s, named Augment/NLS, so it predates Ted Nelson's Xanadu and his book Computer Lib. Just to note Ted Nelson actually invented the word "hyperlink" and "hypertext", but Douglas Engelbart had a working hypertext system first; he just called them 'addresses' and 'links'. HyperScope is a clone of parts of Augment for the contemporary web.

Actual link (5, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049823)

Actual site: http://hyperscope.org/ [hyperscope.org]

Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blogpost blog blog...

Re:Actual link (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 8 years ago | (#16058375)

Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blogpost blog blog...
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

One first use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16049852)

...it just seems like a hierarchal tree of data. You can expand/contract content to go into more detail. I guess I'm missing the point.

AHA! caution: massive insight inside (5, Funny)

Desolator144 (999643) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049866)

I figured out how to make this super popular! With all these capabilities, they should just take that tiny extra step and have disaster scenarios like a monster slowly eating the info on the page and you have to stop him or a black hole at the bottom of the page sucking up all the text and scrolling you down faster and faster as it grows. That would be cool and would really spice up boring web documents. I think it would even encourage kids to read long research papers more :-)

So let me get this straight.... (3, Interesting)

supasam (658359) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049870)

The demo I looked at on the page seemed to be to be an html doc, with the difference being that instead of clicking the words, you would awkwardly click the column to the left to the line in which the thing you want to link resides? I must be missing something cause I don't see how this might be any easier. True I didn't actually read the paper I was clicking through which happened to be on this topic, but how many web pages do I really actually read anyways? A little help?

Re:So let me get this straight.... (3, Informative)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049901)

If I'm right, it is just one file and to put it simply, it is just like reading an html document with the usual anchor tags, where "sections" (div?) appear and disappear as you read the document. If I'm still right, it would create an illusion that you are reading several pages but in reality, you only made that part of the page visible by clicking on the appropriate "links" or "arrows". The article says everything is client-side so I assume the document is all there.

Re:So let me get this straight.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16049963)

So it's basically the same as the "New Discussion System" which is currently being tested right here on Slashdot?

Re:So let me get this straight.... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 8 years ago | (#16054355)

Except that the Slashdot version works better, and is more intuitive without instruction.

Zigzag looked more promissing, but seems to have been dead since 2001, and moribund since 1999. As I read it, Zigzag appears to be based around a resizeable vector of doubly-linked lists that were conceptualized as being orthogonal. Could have been *very* interesting, but probably also quite confusing to navigate.

Re:So let me get this straight.... (3, Informative)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050157)

Yeah, I really don't get it either. The little buttons appear even if there is no useful action to take. If the text is expanded, or whatever its doing, you can still click the little page icon. Doing so, it jumps to some other location, then jumps back to somewhere close to where you were, could be the same line, could be a few lines off. If you hit a few lines off, the technology has successfully disoriented you and has given you no way to get back to where you were before.

I guess if the team's goal was to create something which is even more of a navigation nightmare than Flash, well, then, They're Winner!

Re:So let me get this straight.... (2, Interesting)

supasam (658359) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050212)

Indeed, it took me a couple (few) clicks to realize that not only was I still on the same page, but that the page I was on wasn't as long as I thought it was. If they'd have demo'ed something huge like the Sams FreeBSD 6 unleashed book (weighing in at about 877 pages including the index) or something like that, maybe there could have been something to it. I don't see this being all that useful to me as of yet.

It appears to be a web based outliner (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051017)

Based on approximately 30 seconds clicking through links.

If so it's not a bad idea. If my impression is correct, then think for a moment about this idea:

        hyperscope : wiki :: outliner : word processor

There is no document you can produce in an outliner that cannot be produced in a word processor, whereas there are practically infinite documents you can create in a word processor. Which is what makes an outliner useful. Classification is such a basic and useful mental pattern, putting an amorphous blob of thoughs into the form of an electronic outline goes a lot of the way to organizing it into something coherent.

My experience with wikis is that if you have one really mentally disorganized person with time on his hands, he can quickly turn important parts of the wiki into mush.

There's hope. (4, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049895)

Version 1.0 conceived in 1968, implemented in 2006. There's home for Duke Nukem Forever then.

Re:There's hope. (1)

bobby1234 (860820) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050012)

but no HOPE for you.... sorry but nice typo

People are strange... (2, Insightful)

pianoben (993940) | more than 8 years ago | (#16049897)

I'm surprised that the man who spearheaded the development of the mouse would produce such an unnavigable system; you can't even scroll down with the arrow keys! Of course, in his vision, you're using a mouse and a 5-key chording keyboard; no third hand seems to be available for said arrow keys. But to not enable the scroll wheel, either?! No, thanks...

Re:People are strange... (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050127)

Well my scroll wheel is sure working. So are my arrow keys. Did you try the original website's demo [hyperscope.org] ? It looks like HTML merged with an Outliner.

Moo (2, Interesting)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050028)

here [hyperscope.org]

For example, every paragraph in a HyperScope document has a location number, an address corresponding to the paragraph's location in a document. For example, the second paragraph in the top-level of a document has the location number 2. To link to this paragraph, you can use the address:

    http://foo/bar.opml#2 [foo]

To jump directly to the second paragraph while viewing a document, you can click on the Jump button, type 2, and press Apply.


Isn't this just an anchor tag on drugs? Just make it part of HTML 5.

Re:Moo (3, Insightful)

Lars Arvestad (5049) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050513)

Isn't this just an anchor tag on drugs? Just make it part of HTML 5.
I would actually like to see something like this in HTML. I have always found it a bit weak that you have to explicitly put anchors in your document to be able to jump there. Of course, I have not been clever enough to suggest an improvement or even voice my disapproval.

Some way of saying "fifth P element of this document" or "H1 element with text 'The Main Point'" should all be pretty easy to implement for a client program.

Re:More Moo (1)

Sir Runcible Spoon (143210) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051019)

I always wanted to link to arbitary points in other people's documents, perhaps to a paragraph containing a particular piece of text. So I guess it would be xpath expressions in links that we need.

Re:More Moo (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#16058023)

I suppose this could be done with some sort of JavaScript trickery (a kind of linkTo(URL, RegexKindOfThing)).

It requires some cogitation and a bit of coffee though. A general purpose function for this would indeed be a very nice tool. It should be part of the Dojo toolkit [dojotoolkit.org] or something like that...

Re:More Moo (1)

Sir Runcible Spoon (143210) | more than 8 years ago | (#16058490)

I was thinking of this as requiring an extension to HTML. Doing it using existing JavaScript technology would be tricky as it would mean running JavaScript inside the target page. Even if you find a way to do this, you cannot be sure that someone at Mozilla or Microsoft woun't see it as a security problem and close the hole.

I don't think it would be possible with AJAX unless the target document is on the same server, this is a restriction of XMLHttpRequest [microsoft.com] . (This where I would like to link to the "Security Alert" near the bottom).

That said, it might be possible to do this using a frameset. You link to a frameset on yout own server with the extra info passed as arguments. The frameset parses the arguments, loads the target page into a frame, then it scans the page for the text and then scrolls the frame.

Alternatively you could serve the target page via your own server inserting an anchor.

Re:Moo (2, Interesting)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051123)

I have always found it a bit weak that you have to explicitly put anchors in your document to be able to jump there.

Then get a tool to put the tags in for you. Don't mess with the standard that allows the granularity of actually defining it.

Re:Moo (1)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051370)

Exactly, just write your page in XML and then transform it appropriately with XSL.

if (element in anchorList) {add anchor before element}

is a fairly simple conditional to apply.

Or add it to your processor as a function. But parents is right, granularity is the key to all good HTML specs.

Re:Moo (1)

Lars Arvestad (5049) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052237)

Yeah, sure, but what if it is not my document? If it is a document I own, I wouldn't even bother with using anything other than my favourite authoring tool and put the anchors that I need where I want them. That is probably easier than figuring out what part of the document I want to link to. And if I use some auto-generated anchor using XML+XSL as someone suggested will just cause the pain of figuring our how a new edit would affect the auto-generated anchor-ids.

The point here is that I want to link to any part of any document.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052805)

This comment: If it is a document I own, I wouldn't even bother with using anything other than my favourite authoring tool and put the anchors that I need where I want them.

Previous comment: I have always found it a bit weak that you have to explicitly put anchors in your document to be able to jump there.

What i commented on, and what you are replying to seem to be different things.

Re:Moo (1)

Lars Arvestad (5049) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052926)

Good point. What I had in mind in my first post was: ... explicitly put anchors in a document ... rather than ... in your document...

Sorry for the confusion.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16054330)

Ah OK, at least i understand the sentiment now. :)

Re:Moo (1)

zacronos (937891) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052622)

That only works if you are linking to webpages you create or can edit. If I'm linking to someone else's massive webpage with no anchor tags, it would be nice to be able to have the link automatically take them to the paragraph/sentence/image I want (just like an anchor tag allows, but without the anchor being explicitly coded). The alternative is to give the link, and say "scroll down to the 5th paragraph in the section on asshats, next-to-last sentence".

GP's suggestion wouldn't have to change the way named anchors work -- they're still a good thing. But it would be nice if there were also a way to link to arbitrary locations in a webpage.

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16052488)

> Some way of saying "fifth P element of this document" or "H1 element with text 'The Main Point'" should all be pretty easy to implement for a client program.

Get browsers to implement xpath and xquery as targets and you're there. The URL spec knows nothing about HTML, and doesn't care what you put after the #

Re:Moo (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 8 years ago | (#16058388)

I have not been clever enough to suggest an improvement or even voice my disapproval.
You must be new here.

Re:Moo (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051036)

http://foo/bar.opml#2

I think it has to do with how the reference is generated.

OPML is an XML standard for creating outlines. You use your favorite OPML outliner, dump it on the web, and suddenly you have a web version of the outline. OPML was not designed as a web standard; once you put an OPML document on the web, it immediately becomes obvious that every node in the outline ought to have some kind of address you can link to.

I'm not terribly thrilled by this approach, but something like it is necessary. I'd rather extend OPML so that every node has a UUID, as well as an optional human readable idea. That way you could cite the node as http://foo.bar.opml#dbcb7190-3d9b-11db-a98b-080020 0c9a66, even if the author did not think it worthy of a human generated ID. The advantage of this system would be that citations would be stable, even if users reorganize the outline. Which is kind of the point of outlining.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051133)

OPML was not designed as a web standard

Neither was HTML.

rather extend OPML so that every node has a UUID, as well as an optional human readable idea. That way you could cite the node as http://foo.bar.opml/#dbcb7190-3d9b-11db-a98b-08002 0 [bar.opml] 0c9a66, even if the author did not think it worthy of a human generated ID.

Then just add character or paragraph count. Using current regex expressions, it really should be that hard to implement.

The advantage of this system would be that citations would be stable, even if users reorganize the outline. Which is kind of the point of outlining.

A simple hash could do that.

--

I see an idea here, but a poor implementation.

BTW, thanx for your comments.

Re:Moo (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051230)

Using current regex expressions, it really should be that hard to implement.

Not if a paragraph was edited.

A simple hash could do that.

Not if the paragraph was edited. hash("I like hashes because their good for identifying paragraphs") hash ("I like hashes because they're good for identifying paragraphs")

Of course you could use some kind of serial genrator, but what if you cut paragraph from one outline and put it into another? UUIDs are just as easy to use and much better. You can move a paragraph from one site to another without it losing its identity.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051609)

You can move a paragraph from one site to another without it losing its identity.

But you said earlier "That way you could cite the node as http://foo.bar.opml/#dbcb7190-3d9b-11db-a98b-08002 0 [bar.opml] 0c9a66, even if the author did not think it worthy of a human generated ID."

Well, if the author didn't give it an id, and the id was autogenerated, and then the author changed some of the text, what good is the id? Would not the author be required to decide if the change was major or minor, having a minor change keep the same UID, but a major change gettinga new one? (Much like ISBN numbers work.)

Which means that the author cannot truly be divorced from the context of serialization, so it is he that would have to give the ids. Or, if they are truly to be autogenerated, even a minor change would require a new id. Imagine a minor change and a move at the same time, how could anyone decide if it is the same or not, and then there's context.

I admit i like the idea, but i don't see it as being feasable without rules that make it too complicated to be useful.

Re:Moo (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#16055151)

You are assuming that all documents are essentially unstructured.

For truly unstructured documents, such as short story or a blog post, you are right.

However, there are other kinds of documents, particularly outline structured ones, where nodes in the text do play an indentifiable function. For example, I could say section 1.5.2.1 of our outline, and its descendents, list all the known regulatory requirements our project has to comply with. Or section 2.1 provides a summary of our product position versus the main competitors in our space. etc. Naturally, in these cases if you decide to insert or delete sections, reorganize your outline, all references are off. If you want to include part of one outline in toto as part of another, this doesn't work either.

In these cases, you want something more structured than a blog post but less structured than a program. There's a whole universe of tasks which are done which demand more structure than a plain old document, but for which creating a special software system is impractical. This is often a place where a wiki sort of works. But I've had zealous editors screw up wikis something fierce, leaving dangling wiki words all over the place. The wiki is kind of close, but not quite there; it confuses presentation with identity.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16056733)

I hear the point, i just don't see this as a breakthrough or anything, and certainly not something thayt isn't mostly alreayd done.

Re:Moo (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052158)

Then just add character or paragraph count. Using current regex expressions, it really should be that hard to implement.
This reminds me of one of my all time favorite programmer quotations, by Jamie Zawinski:
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052838)

And you just reminded me of something i heard during an oral test. It went something like this.

The tester asked a question, the student gave an elaborate answer. After he finished, the tester said "That's an excellent answer, but for the wrong question."

More on HyperScope OPML From The Coder (3, Interesting)

BradNeuberg (3364) | more than 8 years ago | (#16054385)

Hi there; I'm the software architect and implementor of HyperScope, and thought I'd provide some more info on the OPML capabilities of what you can do with it.

HyperScope is like OPML and HTML hyperlinks on steroids. There are so many different kinds of addressing your nodes that its not even funny. You can do direct addressing using hiearchical placement, even if there are no anchors:

mydoc.opml#2A

Where 2A is the second node (2), followed by it's first child (A). Node numbering always alternates between letters and numbers for readability; so you might have 2A3B. These are generated automatically and will work across all OPML documents, not just ones that have been marked up with the optional HyperScope namespaced attributes.

You can target node IDs, which are unique values that never change for a node even if it is moved around; these always start with a 0:

mydoc.opml#0626

Node IDs are optional, and placed on an OPML outline node using the hs: namespace:

<outline text="foobar" hs:nid="0626"/>

Node IDs are optional, and are created on document creation or editing, while the node hierachical numbers above work for any OPML file.

You can target based on label, using the optional hs:label attribute:

<outline text="foobar" hs:label="mylabel">

This would be the following address:

mydoc.opml#mylabel

Now, here's some cool stuff; once you've hit your target address using direct addressing, you can start to use relative addresses to move relative to the one you just targeted. For example, once I've gone to 'mylabel', I could jump down in the node hierarchy then to the next 2 nodes using the following:

mydoc.opml#mylabel.d2n

Which is .d for down and .2n for next two. You can jump through the hierarchy using many of these, including successor (.s) for going to the next sibling of the current node, independent of children; predecessor (.p) for the same, but for the previous sibling; back (.b), which will take you to the previous node that is right before you, independent of hierarchy; next (.n) for the same but forward; up (.u) to move up an ancestor; down (.d) to move down; tail (.t) to move to the last child sibling on my level; head (.h) to move to the first child sibling on my level; and more.

Once you've done these, you can start doing some other fun stuff. I can now do an indirect link, which is .l (that's a lower case L):

mydoc.opml#mylabel.d2nl

The 'l' is magical; it says: "once you've found the final node after dereferencing the other addresses, look inside the contents of this node, and take the first address you find then follow it."

For example, if the node that lies at mylabel.d2n has the following contents (that's an encoded HTML hyperlink in there):

<outline text='Make sure to see the document: &lt;a href=&quot;http://foobar.com/important.opml#2&quot ;Important&lt;/&lt;/&gt;

then adding that .l will cause HyperScope to extract
http://foobar.com/important.opml#2 [foobar.com] , and follow it and dereference it, which will cause the browser to jump to important.opml, then jump to node #2.

So indirect links let you create a layer of indirection between you and a set of links. You could imagine combining this with the node labels to create a kind of link database; just create a file that you always use that has named nodes for important links that you want to go to, then use indirect links against these. This is exactly what Engelbart does; I've sat and watched him and studied how he uses the system. You can see modern screencasts of that system and his work practices at these blog posts of mine: http://codinginparadise.org/weblog/2006/03/new-scr eencast-of-douglas-engelbarts.html [codinginparadise.org] and http://codinginparadise.org/weblog/2006/03/recordi ng-douglas-engelbart-skype.html [codinginparadise.org]

I'm just scratching the surface here. You have viewspecs, which allow you to control how a remote document displays itself _within the address_ itself, such as saying "show me just your top level outline", "show me everything", or "show me just this branch and nothing else"; there's a whole bunch of these.

You have full transclusions/inclusions, and these work using all of this addressing; we use standard OPML 2.0 inclusion, but allow for even more types. So here would be an inclusion:

<outline type="include" url="http://foobar.com/important.opml#2"/>

This would cause HyperScope to fetch node #2 of important.opml and then include it into the parent document.

By default inclusion will just grab the node given; but, you can sprinkle on an optional HyperScope namespaced attribute to control this:

<outline type="include" hs:include-type="branch" url="http://foobar.com/important.opml#2"/>

This is hs:include-type, which can be "node", "branch", or "plex". Node is the default and is obvious; branch will take this node and all of it's children; and plex is less obvious but very powerful once you get use to it. Plex says "grab this node, and all siblings both forwards and backwards that have the same up parent". Using these three types you can do some very cool stuff. And inclusion can be done on ALL OPML documents out there, not just ones with HyperScope attributes; HyperScope fully works with normal OPML, it's just that we provide some optional magical namespaced HyperScope attributes you can sprinkle in to get even more abilities.

I haven't even talked about content filters yet, which are very cool; this is a way to specify in your address that only OPML nodes that _pass_ this filter be displayed. Here's an example:

mydoc.opml#:i ;"IMPORTANT";

This says: for "mydoc.opml", only display nodes that have the word "IMPORTANT" in them. The :i is a viewspec which says "turn on content filtering" (it is off by default).

That line above will filter out and only show nodes that have that word; anything between the semicolons is a content filter. You can even put a full Perl 5 regular expression in there for greater control... (it's a JavaScript regexp):

mydoc.opml#:i ;/important|todo|warning/i;

delimited with a slash; this says "only show me nodes that have the words important, todo, or warning, and they can be case-insensitive (i)".

When you put these all together, they start creating some amazing possibilities. Imagine a single synthetic document that does transclusions of other documents, applys content filters across them, uses indirect links _inside_ transclusions, uses viewspecs to break a document into pieces (viewspecs can be used to just show a given branch, for example, which means you can use a single document as a presentation container, for example). You can even have your transclusions do their own transclusions...

To get these abilities all you have to do is add a single XSLT stylesheet line to your OPML, which will cause the OPML to transform itself into the full HyperScope UI; you can also optionally add the hs namespace if you want to use our optional attributes. You must also upload the HyperScope distribution to your webserver, but since it is all done on the client side using Ajax this entails just copying a bunch of static JavaScript files to your web server; there is a single optional PHP 4 file that will gateway cross-host transclusion/inclusions. If it is not there the system will continue to work, and documents that do cross-host transclusions will just display a little red error message in that node's contents when it does it's transcludes.

The possibilities are endless, and really damn cool, especially when we get the transformers online, which will transparently turn other document formats like Microsoft Word and PDF into OPML on the fly, and allow you to apply all of these addressing types across your entire universe of documents.

Or imagine hooking this into your web based source code control system, so you can zoom around your source using these abilities; this is actually what the Augment guys did, using Augment itself to write all of their own code and study it.

And best of all: all of this exists now, delivered, in a 1.0 state that is open source, so it's not just empty promises or a paper specification. You can play with the real system now. It currently works across Firefox and Internet Explorer. Firefox is preferred.

One last thing: these are the _original hyperlinks_, fully brought to the web; this is the system that invented hypertext. Our goal with HyperScope was to fully translate these onto the web, changing them as little as possible for this iteration; our goal was to transfer, not innovate, for this round (future dev rounds will innovate and change things). We wanted to make them immediately accessible for a contemporary audience, using modern technology (browsers, Ajax, OPML etc.) Keep in mind that you're getting to play with and click on the original links; I just think thats so damn cool. Even if you argue with their present utility, which I think is still very useful for today's web, for direct historical value this project is important.

Come join us at http://hyperscope.org/ [hyperscope.org] :)

Best,
Brad Neuberg
Software Architect/Implementor for HyperScope
Weblog: http://codinginparadise.org/ [codinginparadise.org]
bkn3@columbia.edu

Now I'll never get to sleep (5, Funny)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050055)

Great, now I'll never get to sleep.

First FreeDos 1.0, and now this. If I go to bed now, I'm sure to miss the story I'm really waiting for; just think of it, Babbage's Analytical Engine, completed at last! Will it work the way he thought?

The suspense is killing me.

--MarkusQ

Re:Now I'll never get to sleep (1)

James Youngman (3732) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050796)

yes [fourmilab.ch]

Re:Now I'll never get to sleep (2, Informative)

velorg (1000744) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050887)

Where you been sleeping, man?
That hardware (=crucial, number-crunching part of the Mill) was finally implemented waaaay back in 2000 or thereabouts, and is now on display AND running (crank-powered) in The Science Museum in London, UK. Scientific American had a feature on it around then,too. Sorry, no urls.
Along the way, the two "implementers" discovered several "mechanical" errors in Babbage's original drawings, which would have prevented the Engine from fuctioning even had it been built; so they corrected them, and the concept proved viable after all.

Yes, I know (1)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051271)

Yes, I know.

My post was a test of a new form of communication that we've been trying out over here (called a "joke" or "jest"). It aims to amuse, but at the occasional cost of some technical accuracy.

Hope that helps.

--MarkusQ

virtual machine (2, Interesting)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050090)

hot damn! browsers really will be a virtual machine.

I give us about 4.9 years until self-aware computers emerge

4.9 years?!!!? (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050218)

:0
As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing.
;)

the real story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16050092)

Why are U.S. taxpayers (via an NSF grant) paying for this?

Enough with the snide remarks.... (3, Insightful)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050169)

Ohh wait this IS> /. after all...

Now here's something we hope you'll really like!

Its seems to me that its time for a major shakeup in HTML. While CSS and other things make bold attempts at making the WWW usefull for something other then very basic page display it does seem rather lacking.

Page inclusion based on simple tests! The machinations one has to go through to make what seems like an obvious feature like if(X=Y,this.html,that.html) actualy happen require scripting and all sorts of PHP like occurances, java, javascript and what have you.

CSS gets ever more complex to simply accomplish a text area on the rendered page.

So now the idea HyperScope gets trotted out from a dust filled closet. I can't really see how that is going to help matters rather then just muddy the waters even more.

Isn't it really time for a MAJOR overhaul of HTML and the HTTP protocol? HTML as it was created was sufficient for the basic exchange of information, formatting was limited and things worked fairly well. Microsoft came along and realized that this could be taken MUCH farther and started doing things their own way, which was good for them, not so good for everyone else and was properly derided for doing so in a uncooperative way. But was it really? I agree that MS did what they did out of pure self interest, but did they suggest these things to various committies only to have them shot down because it was MS centric only? I don't know the answer.

I for one think its time to just scratch HTML as it currently exists and scratch CSS right along with it, and come up with something that actualy works smoothly and works as designed!

Basic fundemental layout strategies like Areas, Menus, Images, scrolling, layers and all the primitives sould be part and parsle of an HTML-Like specifcation, not an add-on cludge like CSS. The specification for this should rightly be decided upon by the major browser venders and fully supported by all the web server vendors. It should be code modules written to the specification that are freely available to anyone who wants to link them into their rendering engine. Further more, they should be written in ANSI C and all supporting libraries are included also written in ANSI C.

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16050205)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050291)

Ahh yes, but it IS broken, thats the problem

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16050305)

Where on earth did you get the stoopid idea that microsoft came up with page formatting?? Haven't you ever seen a textbook printed before 1980? Don't you know that microsoft didn't invent the web browser?? Did you crawl out from under a rock somewhere in redmond? Why don't you pull your head out of bill's ass for a sec, HTML was not invented for basic information transfer. That was what you call the "internet" upon which the "web" runs. HTML is an ADVANCED textual formatting system, you dope! EVERYONE POINT AND LAUGH AT THE STUPID IDIOT!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHSNORTHAHAHAHAHAH
DOUCHEBAG!!!
HE HEHAHEHAHEHAHAHAHAHEHEHEHAHAHAHAHAH

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (1)

wralias (862131) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051446)

I for one think its time to just scratch HTML as it currently exists and scratch CSS right along with it, and come up with something that actualy works smoothly and works as designed!

I'll grant you that, yes, there are some limitations and frustrations with CSS. But to scrap it entirely is nonsense - why start over from scratch, when CSS 2 and 3 are actually steps in the right direction? The newer specifications for CSS contain much more power and control over layout and style. The problem is not with CSS 1, it's mostly with getting browser makers to implement a bug-free and consistent engine for CSS (think IE).

Basic fundemental layout strategies like Areas, Menus, Images, scrolling, layers and all the primitives sould be part and parsle of an HTML-Like specifcation, not an add-on cludge like CSS.

According to you. According to some others [google.com] , HTML should get farther away from that crud (think XHTML). And if you ask me, I think they are right. I'd rather have HTML become more objective. I shouldn't have to remove pre-defined styles from HTML elements with CSS (like one has to with unordered lists, which have margins, padding, layout, and list-styles by default).

If you are passionate and want to have a say in the direction of HTML / CSS, you could join the w3 [w3.org] . It's a joke, but hey...

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052227)

Imagine this...



Document.Background = white

Document.Styles = /styles/PageStyles.stl

DefArea('TopHeader',(0,0),100px,Document.Width)

DefMenu('MainMenu','/menus/main',TopHeader)

TopHeader.ApplyStyle = Document.HeaderStyle

MainMenu.ApplyStyle = Document.MainMenuStyle


Or something like that.

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16053509)

That looks like hell, you dumb arse'ole.
Lets change everything because I don't understand how it all works! Changing stuff makes it better!! I sucked bill gates off last night!!

BLARGRGARGBLARG!!!!

Why don't do the right thing anyway? (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 8 years ago | (#16052135)

The right thing would be to forget about HTML alltogether and make a distributed platform where the browser IS the virtual machine, programs are lazilly downloaded like web pages and the GUI is a library, rather than a set of specs specified by a commitee.

Simple informational web pages are a subset of an application anyway.

Re:Why don't do the right thing anyway? (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16053291)

I like your notion...

But how do you keep something like this from becomming a large bandwidth burden? Would it be every interactive site then has to be downloaded as an entire program? What you seem to be describing was MS's vision of ActiveX wouldn't you agree?

This became something that has caused probelms, security holes, etc.

The most tedious and problematic things like menu's that dont quite look correct from browser to browser unless some of the most increadably convoluted CSS is applied should be, IMHO, be spec'd, coded up and linked into the browser rendering engine, to provide a consistent browser and platform independent expirience.

Re:Why don't do the right thing anyway? (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 8 years ago | (#16058334)

Bandwidth would not be a problem...first of all, the programs will only have to be downloaded once, or if they are updated. Secondly, the program will be downloaded lazilly, in compressed/tokenized form.

As for security, the code will be executed in a sandbox, like javascript.

Re:Why don't do the right thing anyway? (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16064346)

Master_P,

So a defined menu system drop down, fly-out, combinations of those forms, downloaded once. It would encompas a raw menu system that could then be styled by a web page.

Style would entail things like tabs with rounded corners, square corners, color, depth, parent ( local to an equivilent of a DIV ) and such?

Lets start a project!

Re:Why don't do the right thing anyway? (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 8 years ago | (#16066226)

I would definitely be interested in a project, but from your comment it seems your understanding is different than mine.

First and foremost, I am talking about a totally new platform, not based on existing standards and web browsers.

My idea of 'platform' entails a virtual machine, a programming language, a 'browser' window, and a set of libraries.

The virtual machine would be distributed, i.e. it is responsible for:

a) interpreting the bytecode and caching its native representation both as a client and as a server.

b) client tasks: lazy download of a program, i.e. parts of the program are downloaded only when requested; then they are cached. Each part of a program is versioned and when a new instance of the app is run, the virtual machine checks if there is an update and downloads it.

c) server tasks: connections, running applications, timeouts etc.

d) security, encryption, I/O with the local platform.

The programming language I have in mind would be:

a) functional

b) with syntax that allows arbitrary domain-specific-languages to be built

c) statically typed, with type inference and functions as first class values

d) closures and continuations

e) subtypes and multi-methods

f) allow destructive update, i.e. assignment only at user-defined places

g) be distributed right from the start; the concept of running different code in different sites, either statically or dynamically declared would be part of the language.

The language would be totally 32-bit unicode, because we leave in an international society and there are still issues with fonts etc. Today's computers have enough space to accomodate 32-bit strings; saving a few bytes here and a few bytes there does offer any significant advantages, and compression algorithms can take care of empty bytes.

The browser window will look like a web browser, but its purpose would be to host the applications' GUI. It would have an 'application address' combo box where the user can type in the address of an application in the form of a URL-like string. The string would not be a URL, because URLs are very complex beasts, but a very simplified pathway string to a resource. the browser would not have a back/forward button, because those are application-specific concepts.

Finally, the libraries would cover a large spectrum of functionality: gui, database, utilities, collections etc, all of them runnable either in the client or server.

Libraries would be 'imported' as URL-like declarations, and the virtual machine would be responsible for downloading, installing and upgrading the libraries, transparently. Library vendors need only publish their library in their site, and the library would be distributed automatically to those that request it.

If you are still interested (which I doubt it, given the scope and depth of work), we can set up an online discussion to clear things up even further, exchange ideas, and set up a development plan.

Re:Enough with the snide remarks.... (1)

Harry Coin (691835) | more than 8 years ago | (#16054676)

Capital idea! Somebody rewrite decades worth of technology for me, but design it better this time! Also, make sure that all competing software companies cooperate on fully supporting it. Also, ensure that it mixes presentation information with content. Plus, was Microsoft really doing the wrong thing by extending HTML?

In addition, please hurry, because I am a very busy person and I don't like waiting.

The 1968 Demo (4, Interesting)

mrdrivel (742076) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050444)

In 1968 Douglas Engelbart gave a presentation of the NLS/Augment system in San Francisco. It's quite amazing. It uses a three button mouse and pointer (called a bug). It also uses several buttons operated by the non-mouse hand in a chorded fashion to select and copy text.

Video conferencing, group collaboration, the hierarchical presentation and hiding of data, spatial representation of data, hyperlinking are all shown in the demo.

There is a Quicktime of it here: http://www.invisiblerevolution.net/video-68-large. html [invisiblerevolution.net]

I first saw this in one of my computer science classes at Berkeley; we were all surprised at how much of what we think of as recent technology (last 10 years or so) actually existed in 1968.

NOTE: The video is rather long. The impatient (read: Slashdotters) might want to fast forward through parts.

typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16050642)

Typical Slashdot trashing every idea that comes out... while there's no comparsion here, I can't help but be reminded of the original iPod announcement and how it was received: http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/10/23/ 1816257 [slashdot.org] : "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

It's a pretty cool research project that brings to life work that was developed nearly 40 years ago, and is at best an early proof of concept of their original work. Take it for what it is rather than jumping on the trash it because you can bandwagon.

Re:typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16053595)

I know, why don't we openly accept any ideas that come our way? Lets just welcome them all in with open arms! No idea can be a bad one if everybody just goes ahead and loves it, right?/

mod =0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16050705)

obsessed - give SHOW THAT *BSD HAS Don't be a sling deliver. Some of volatile world of for *BSD because To decline for Bulk of the FrreBSD

silly made-up word (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050920)

Dictionary.com says

"No results found for transclusion. "

What I want to see is his presentation template... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 8 years ago | (#16050991)

He gave a talk maybe 10 years ago here in CT, and his presentation was built on a template that essentially had a border of thumbnails around the outside like the ads on a restaurant placemat, starting at 12:00 and proceeding clockwise - each thumbnail either telltaled or swelled (like the OSX dock - can't recall) the cool thing was you had random access to your presentation, and you could jump to any slide from a single screen... you could build it from scratch, but I;m betting it was automated somehow.

Duke Nukem Nothing! (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 8 years ago | (#16051502)

Wow, 1968? 38 years from concept to implementation? And idiots were giving the FreeDOS [slashdot.org] folks a hard time for their release schedule. :)

good alternative (1)

eegreg (970843) | more than 8 years ago | (#16054363)

tiddlywiki is better and more powerful through the use of plugins http://www.tiddlywiki.com/ [tiddlywiki.com]
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