Hyperscope and the future of the past

The mother of all demos
Photo by John Lester.

I can’t quite tell how significant this is, but I know that it’s been a long time coming and that, only over time, will we begin to understand what this system will really mean for information systems.

In classic understated flair, Doug, Eugene and Brad will be releasing the Web 2.0 version of Doug Engelbart’s Hyperscope to the world tonight.

It’s hard for to describe succinctly, but basically it’s taking hypertext and adding the “hyper” to it (today’s web linking is kind of like the Model-T compared to Engelbart’s space age original 1968 vision). You’ve really got to try it for yourself to see what I mean; what at first seems like a big outline (it’s cleverly built on top of OPML) quickly becomes an immersive experience that other system pale in depth and flexibility to.

In some respects, this kind of learnable system is what I was talking about in my post on learning from game design. The only presumption, or goal, of the Hyperscope system is that you’re interested in working with knowledge and information — how you go about finding, linking to, appending or operating on that information is up to you.

All that and it’s built on Alex Russell’s Dojo Toolkit is an achievement in open source cross pollination that should be also be duly recognized.

Congrats guys.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

3 thoughts on “Hyperscope and the future of the past”

  1. Only over time will we really know what this means? WI see nothing that isn’t generations more refined on 10^6 web pages.

    “You can’t understand unless you understand” qouth Derrida’s ghost.

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