Monday, August 24, 2015

50 years ago today the word “hypertext” was introduced | Gigaom

A half-century of hypertext

"On August 24, 1965 Ted Nelson used the word “hypertext” (which he coined) in a paper he presented at the Association for Computing Machinery. I was able to interview him earlier this month about the event and his early thoughts on the future of computing."
"What happened then?
I thought my work would be a watershed, because I didn’t know that anyone else in the world was working on text-on-screens. It was only after the talk that Bob Taylor came up to me, whom I did not know, and asked me if I had heard of Douglas Engelbart [Engelbart was an early computer pioneer, best known for inventing word processing, multiple windows on a screen, and the mouse, all rolled out in his 1968 “Mother of all Demos”].
Taylor told me that Engelbart had been working on similar things, so I made a note to get in touch with Engelbart. But I had very few resources and no secretary, so that actually carrying on any correspondence was essentially beyond my capabilities. I only found out later that Taylor had been Engelbart’s principal backer through ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, now called DARPA].
Ironically, when Taylor took over Xerox PARC in the 1970s, he dropped Engelbart, who was tragically out in the cold for the rest of his career."
50 years ago today the word “hypertext” was introduced | Gigaom
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