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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hi Dave! Or: Hello World, Join Us This Tuesday

Cool, it looks like Dave Winer discovered us and the HyperScope project. Thanks for the link love :)

Dave, would you like to join Douglas Engelbart, Eugene Kim, and I this comming Tuesday at our weekly status meeting to see what we are up to? (It's open to everyone, by the way; just send me an email so that we can make sure to order enough pizza ;)

The HyperScope project is open source software, with a grant from the NSF, to implement some of Douglas' ideas, including more powerful addressing types for the web, bringing his idea of viewspecs to a contemporary audience, and more. Our system is implemented with Ajax and DHTML to sprinkle these ideas onto existing web browsers, using OPML 2.0 as our core file format.

The project wraps up the end of this month (August) with the final software deliverable, but next week is our last status meeting since Doug and Eugene are heading out of town for some conferences, so this is the last chance to hang out with us and see what we are up to!

Here's the details:

Tuesday, August 14th
6 pm - 8 pm
The meeting is at AmTech's headquarters:
499 Seaport Court, Suite 100
Redwood City, CA 94063

Just come inside, but remember to email me for anyone who wants to come so we have enough pizza.

By the way, the original NLS/Augment system that Engelbart created, the one that the mouse, hypertext, etc. were made for originally, is still running at Logitech [see a modern screencast of it]. If folks are interested, including Dave, I can get you accounts on there so that you can play with the system and check it out. The cool thing is Engelbart still uses it in his daily work, so you can see him on the system, and even sometimes do a shared screen teleconference with him (using the first screen sharing software, implemented in Augment). I am also willing to put together a runthrough teaching folks how to use it, either a virtual one through the web+Skype or a real one, if there are enough interested folks around here. We could have it at the coworking space as well.

OPML, Meet Douglas Engelbart

I haven't talked much about it, but Hyperscope uses OPML 2.0 as its native file format. We chose OPML 2.0 because it is a naturally hierarchical file format, and it also defines a clear extension mechanism for OPML, which is XML namespaces.

A great thing is that the original OPML spec actually references Douglas Engelbart in its text as the originator of outlining tools. It's really cool that our implementation of Engelbart's original ideas in Hyperscope is using OPML. It feels like a natural historical completion. Dave Winer would be proud.

We lightly sprinkle in some of our own custom attributes to support some extra addressing types that OPML doesn't natively support, such as unique node identifiers that never change, even if the node moves around. We work with normal OPML files though. I'll report more on our HyperScope namespaced attributes later this month, where I will document them fully for others to use as we launch.

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