Coding in Paradise

About Brad Neuberg

See the System Behind Engelbart's Historic Mother of All Demos

On December 9th, 1968 Douglas Engelbart gave his Mother of All Demos, showing for the first time the mouse, hypertext, windowing, outlining, teleconferencing, and more.

Today is the 45th anniversary of this demo. In honor of this the HyperScope team has put together a video showing some NSF-funded work we did in 2006 porting parts of Engelbart's original NLS/Augment system shown in the Mother of All Demos into contemporary web browsers.

HyperScope took the command-bar, zooming, viewspecs, and original hypertext from NLS/Augment and got it running in Firefox and Internet Explorer, completely built with JavaScript. Unfortunately browsers have bitrotted aspects of the web that HyperScope used (mostly client-side XSLT), so you have to download Firefox 2.0 to have things work. If you have Firefox 2.0, you can go here and click on any of the OPML files to see HyperScope in action.

For now, you can see a video of the work we did on the HyperScope team that we recorded last week, along with a Google+ Hangout with members of the original HyperScope team talking about the work we did:

Screencast of Douglas Engelbart's HyperScope Project

I've also taken a chance to transcode a screencast I did in 2006 of the original Augment/NLS system itself from Flash Video to a more modern format. Very few people have gotten a chance to look in-depth at the system behind the Mother of All Demos; take a look at it and see how it compares to the HyperScope version we produced:

Screencast of Douglas Engelbart's Original NLS/Augment system

Subscribe to my RSS feed and follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on new posts.

Please note that this is my personal blog — the views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

Back to