Jakob Voss

The original hypertext
system and Wikipedia
   We were promised Xanadu

   draft slides for discussion

      ...
Agenda
      ●   Wikipedia
      ●   WWW
      ●   Xanadu
      ●   Comparision
      ●   Discussion




Jakob Voss: The o...
“Imagine a world in which every single
              person on the planet is given free access
                 to the sum...
Wikipedia
      ●   Wiki-based open content encyclopaedia
            ●   Quick editing
            ●   Versioning
       ...
Wikimedia
      ●   Infrastructure
            ●   donations and volunteers
            ●   Wikimedia foundation and local...
Some more Wikipedia features
      ●   Redirects and disambiguation
      ●   Media inclusion via Wikimedia Commons
      ...
Wikipedia revision history
  http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gdańsk&action=history




 http://en.wikipedia.org/...
Internet Archive snapshots
    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gdańsk




 http://web.archive.or...
WWW
Bild: captsolo@flickr




                        Tim Berners-Lee               Information Management: A Proposal (19...
World Wide Web
      ●   invented in 1989 by Berners-Lee
          to connect distributed databases
      ●   limited to a...
Hyperlinks
    ted.hyperland.com




                        Ted Nelson




                                              ...
“HTML is precisely what we were trying to
                PREVENT – ever-breaking links, links
                going outwa...
“Xanadu, a global hypertext publishing
              system, is the longest-running vaporware
                  story in t...
Concepts of Xanadu
      ●   Deep links to document fragments
      ●   Transclusion
      ●   Versioning
      ●   Docuve...
Some properties of Xanadu
     (4) Every user can search, retrieve, create and store documents.
     (5) Every document ca...
Some properties of Xanadu
                                                          Wikipedia
     (4) Open editing       ...
Differences
     Wikipedia                                            Xanadu
      ●   Open content only                  ...
Common properties
      ●   Both are “closed systems”
            ●   In Wikipedia backlinks, version history etc. do only...
How can we do better?
                              We were promised Xanadu!




Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system...
Limitations of the WWW
      ●   Structured data ✗
      ●   Collaboration                              ✗
      ●   Backli...
Limitations of the WWW
      ●   Structured data ✓                               Semantic Web
      ●   Collaboration     ...
Limitation: Backlinks
      ●   How do you easily get the resources
          that link to a given resource?
      ●   Pos...
Limitation: Changes
      ●   How do you track changes
          in documents on the Web?
      ●   General solution
     ...
Adding history to the Web
      ●   URL identifies the current
          version of a Web resource
      ●   Some create n...
Adding history to the Web
      ●   Memento Web Project (work in progress!)
      ●   Additional HTTP-Header
      ●   Typ...
Limitation: Split & Merge
      ●   How to track merge and split on the Web?
      ●   Problems
            ●   Compound d...
Deep links in Xanadu
         “An identifier for any portion/span of text (of
        whatever version) can be constructed...
time

                     version 1                                      text A             text B

                     ...
Types of changes

                      text A
                                                                    text C
...
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
          They are endowed with reason and conscience and...
Types of changes (to discuss)
      ●   Some practical examples
           ●   Simple extract (quote)
           ●   Modfi...
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The original hypertext system and Wikipedia

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First discussion draft of a presentation about WWW, Wikipedia and Ted Nelson's Xanadu

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  • The backlinks issue interests me a great deal. Here are two texts that I bookmarked some time ago: 'Supporting The Web: A Distributed Hyperlink Database System' [ http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/3495/1/96-09.pdf ] and 'Networks, Hierarchies and The Web That Wasn’t' [ https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=topicmaps.com%2Ftm2008%2Fwright.ppt&pli=1 ].
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The original hypertext system and Wikipedia

  1. 1. Jakob Voss The original hypertext system and Wikipedia We were promised Xanadu draft slides for discussion presented at Fachhochschule Hannover June, 14th 2010
  2. 2. Agenda ● Wikipedia ● WWW ● Xanadu ● Comparision ● Discussion Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  3. 3. “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.” Jimbo Wales in: Robin Miller: Wikimedia Founder Jimmy Wales Responds. Slashdot (2004-07-28) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  4. 4. Wikipedia ● Wiki-based open content encyclopaedia ● Quick editing ● Versioning ● Hypertext (pages, links, discussion pages...) ● Open Content license (CC-BY-SA) ● Founded 2001 (by accident!) ● More than 200 language editions, 10 of them with > 500.000 articles Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  5. 5. Wikimedia ● Infrastructure ● donations and volunteers ● Wikimedia foundation and local chapters (among them Wikimedia Germany) ● MediaWiki software ● Largest general reference work(s) ● Other Wikimedia projects ● Commons, Wikiquote, Wikisource … ● Projects only partly connected Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  6. 6. Some more Wikipedia features ● Redirects and disambiguation ● Media inclusion via Wikimedia Commons ● Templates (Infoboxes…) ● Categories (Thesaurus) ● Interwiki links (mono-directional) ● Extracted data (DBPedia, Personsearch…) ● ... Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  7. 7. Wikipedia revision history http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gdańsk&action=history http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gdańsk&oldid=221829087 (“Permalink“) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  8. 8. Internet Archive snapshots http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gdańsk http://web.archive.org/web/20080626090544/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gdańsk Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  9. 9. WWW Bild: captsolo@flickr Tim Berners-Lee Information Management: A Proposal (1989) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  10. 10. World Wide Web ● invented in 1989 by Berners-Lee to connect distributed databases ● limited to a mono-directed graph, no history ● original concepts reintroduced: collaboration (“Web 2.0”), data integration (“Semantic Web”) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  11. 11. Hyperlinks ted.hyperland.com Ted Nelson A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the Indeterminate (1965) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  12. 12. “HTML is precisely what we were trying to PREVENT – ever-breaking links, links going outward only, quotes you can't follow to their origins, no version management, no rights management.” Ted Nelson's Computer Paradigm, Expressed as One-Liners (1999) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  13. 13. “Xanadu, a global hypertext publishing system, is the longest-running vaporware story in the history of the computer industry. It has been in development for more than 30 years.” Gary Wolf: The Curse of Xanadu. Wired Issue 3.06 (1995) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  14. 14. Concepts of Xanadu ● Deep links to document fragments ● Transclusion ● Versioning ● Docuverse (parallel texts) ● Strechtext (levels of detail) ● Rights management Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  15. 15. Some properties of Xanadu (4) Every user can search, retrieve, create and store documents. (5) Every document can consist of any number of parts each of which may be of any data type. (6) Every document can contain links of any type including virtual copies ("transclusions") to any other document in the system accessible to its owner. (7) Links are visible and can be followed from all endpoints. (8) Permission to link to a document is explicitly granted by the act of publication. Xanadu FAQ (2002-04-12) http://xanadu.com.au/general/faq.html#2 Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  16. 16. Some properties of Xanadu Wikipedia (4) Open editing ✓ partly (on-topic only) (5) Compound ✗ very limited documents (6) Transclusion ✗ very limited (7) Bidirectional links ✓ yes (inside one wiki) (8) Reuse and linking ✓ yes allowed Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  17. 17. Differences Wikipedia Xanadu ● Open content only ● Any content ● Nobody is paid ● Micropayment ● Reuse and mixing ● Reuse and mixing encouraged but easy and tracked difficult to track Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  18. 18. Common properties ● Both are “closed systems” ● In Wikipedia backlinks, version history etc. do only work inside a Wiki (not even between languages) References to external resources are plain text only ● In Xanadu there is no “outside of the system” ● Both support mixing and changing of content ● Wikipedia solves the rights (but does not track all) ● Xanadu is based on mixing and linking of content Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  19. 19. How can we do better? We were promised Xanadu! Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  20. 20. Limitations of the WWW ● Structured data ✗ ● Collaboration ✗ ● Backlinks ✗ ● Changes ✗ ● Split & Merge ✗ Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  21. 21. Limitations of the WWW ● Structured data ✓ Semantic Web ● Collaboration ✓? “Web 2.0” ● Backlinks ✗ ● Changes ✗ ● Split & Merge ✗ “Mashups”, “Copy & Paste” Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  22. 22. Limitation: Backlinks ● How do you easily get the resources that link to a given resource? ● Possible solutions ● HTTP Referrer ✗ ● Notify link targets (Pinkback etc.) ● Harvest links (crawler) ● Open Questions ● Not integrated into basic Web infrastructure ● No open link databases to query! Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  23. 23. Limitation: Changes ● How do you track changes in documents on the Web? ● General solution ● Versioning and Diff ● Practical solution ● Adding history to the Web ● Open questions ● Which standard? ● How to diff specific file types (see: split & merge) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  24. 24. Adding history to the Web ● URL identifies the current version of a Web resource ● Some create new URLs for each new version ● Old versions may also be available elsewhere Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  25. 25. Adding history to the Web ● Memento Web Project (work in progress!) ● Additional HTTP-Header ● Typical requests ● “get the resource as it was at time X” ● “get the list of changes between X and Y” ● Related techniques ● Feeds of changes (ATOM, RSS) and OAI-PMH Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  26. 26. Limitation: Split & Merge ● How to track merge and split on the Web? ● Problems ● Compound documents and document parts ● Clone & Merge instead of Copy & Paste ● Existing standards (Xpointer etc.) failed ● Existing solutions ● Distributed Version control systems (git, hg, bzr…) ● OAI-ORE (Object Reuse and Exchange) Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  27. 27. Deep links in Xanadu “An identifier for any portion/span of text (of whatever version) can be constructed. This is in fact the main innovation of Xanadu.” Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  28. 28. time version 1 text A text B change merge version 2 text C change change change version 3 text D text E change change version 4 text F change merge version 5 text G Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  29. 29. Types of changes text A text C parallel change change change text branch text B text D text E parallel text Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  30. 30. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” extract „All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.“ translate extract (sense changed) „Alle Menschen sind frei und „All human beings are equal.” gleich an Würde und Rechten geboren.“ Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
  31. 31. Types of changes (to discuss) ● Some practical examples ● Simple extract (quote) ● Modfied extract (thumbnail, abstract … ) ● Translation, review ● Some general types ● branch (sth. “new”) – Split (to branches that may be joined again) ● modify (expand, remove, same document) ● merge/combine (transclusion, aggregation) – Insert into an aggregation Jakob Voss: The original hypertext system and Wikipedia draft slides for discussion. June 14th, 2010
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