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Submissions/We were promised Xanadu

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
We were promised Xanadu. The original hypertext system and how Wikimedia projects can benefit from its concepts.
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Jakob Voss
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
The current occurrence of Wikis, the Web and digital publications make it difficult to image that their architecture is a historic artifact that could also have been evolved differently. In my presentation I want to outline Xanadu, the very first system for writing, linking and re-use of digital content. Xanadu was envisioned by Ted Nelson who is known for coining the terms Hypertext and Hypermedia. However his concept of hypertext is much richer than current systems as it takes into account the way writing is done. In my talk I will compare Xanadu with the Wiki-based Wikimedia projects, show which of Xanadu's features (such as bidirectional link and transclusion) are still missing from todays computer systems and why they are important especially for open projects such as Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wikiquote and Wikimedia Commons that contain a lot reuse and referencing. In the second part of my presentation I will present some techniques such as wiki federations, distributed revision control, and eternal identifiers which may be used to extend the current Wikimedia infrastructure. I will show how by adding these xanalogical features we can get an environment that comes closest to what was promised as Xanadu and how such an open digital publication system may look like in practise.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration and/or Infrastructure
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  1. Solstag 06:41, 26 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Gritzko 07:26, 2 June 2010 (UTC) Please check Submissions/Federating_Wikipedia. I think, we may run a joint presentation.[reply]
  3. Kocio 10:39, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Meeso 21:12, 8 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Waldir 07:40, 16 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Aubrey 18:55, 23 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]