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No sooner had I pontificated about the perils of waiting too long to get it right than
I see in my favorite tabloid that Ted Nelson has finally made Xanadu available.
"Nelson embarked on the project in 1960, drawing on the ideas of
Vannevar Bush, with the vision of tying disparate people and spaces into a
huge distributed database. Or, er... not. It didn't quite start out like that, and by the
1980s (Xanadu could be described as a 30-year vaporware exercise which was
constantly evolving) it had been honed down to a set of business rules."
"And later, when faced with the WWW itself, Nelson replied "Trying to fix HTML is
like trying to graft arms and legs onto hamburger..."
Berners-Lee "dared to do less," made hamburger, and changed the world. Nelson
insisted on gourmet beef for 40 years and gets sneered at by the Reg for his
trouble. There really is a lesson here.