ENGELBART COLLOQUIUM AT STANFORD ONLINE
An In-Depth Look at
"The Unfinished Revolution"
January 27, 2000
MARCELO: Ö I have a couple of announcements for those here and online at SITN. We would like everyone to know that there are new announcements that will be posted online at www.bootstrap.org/colloquium suggest that you might want to visit this regularly because we're posting any number of announcements there including a new section as well as a discussion group there so that you can get involved with the more interactive activities that go along with this colloquium. We would very much like to ask that everyone fill out the questionnaire forms so that we can tune the next session after each one has occurred. We have tried not to send too many mailers, email, and physical mail and so on and to just post on our website because we feel that everyone has enough email as is. So Please cooperate with us and we'll try to cooperate with the colloquium as we go along. Another announcement is that we're reopening the registration for the onsite colloquium here, physically at Stanford; because we've got some dropouts so weíre opening it up slightly and we donít mind it being a full house continuously. So those who feel like attending here in person please feel fee to apply; we'll try to keep the house full at all times. There's another request that we've had for PowerPoint files of what we've presented in the past. WE will try to post these online also. We haven't had the capability to do this so far, but we will try to do it and we'll do it through the one list file sharing capability that we have. If you don't have any other reason to subscribe to the one list forum, this is a good incentive. For those of you who cannot receive the web cast particularly well, we have experienced some quality problems we have some information on this on the colloquium homepage so if you have problems, please read that and then contact us if you have additional queries still. And that's pretty much all we have for announcements unless Peter has -- no? OK. I'll turn it back to Doug who will take it away from here.
ENGLEBART: Thank you, Marcelo. You know, this whole colloquium has been planned since last spring and none of us appreciated what it would involve in coordination and effort. And it seemed like a good idea that we would open our own repository and then ask for things and then we get flooded, so all I want to say is if you contribute into the dialogue and aren't getting any response, please don't get discouraged. We have to muster the resources and people but it's one of the goals of this whole event to see if we can make something real happen like that. And as I'll say over and over again, if I have my head clear during this whole colloquium, how to build and run a really effective dynamic knowledge repository is something that I don't think anyone knows what it'll take to do it. And the first time when people get one really working at any significant scale at all it may cost about 20 times what anyone would believe ought to. But that's the whole engineering approach, to get in and do it. And I don't think that any kind of research is ever going to do it other than actually building it, making it work.
Anyway, so I think the whole thing about this worldwide bootstrapping is something that makes the journey to the moon look like a Boy Scout trip. [chuckle]
Some people accuse me that I make things sound so big that when I fail, I have a reason. [laughter] So why didn't I think of that?
All right, let's get going with our session 4.
The orientation here is about technology, but what I'd really like to do is scale up and down about the involvement and impact of the emergent technology within and upon society's augmentation systems. Now I just kind of wanted to kind of quickly look at that and then do kind of a conceptual overview, the best I can call it an architecture of the environment of how people are sort of going to work with the technology there, and then be working towards a takeoff position towards what this kind of push could be and we have some really interesting people here that can come on and talk to you today. And incidentally we have some visitors here today. There's a really good friend of mine, Marlene Mallicott -- she's the significant other of Ted Nelson, if you ever heard of him. And I charge her with getting Ted up on his feet for the past ten years. A great gal, and she's sitting up there, blushing. And then next to her are two people from Australia who are long time associates of Ted Nelson's working too. And I'll introduce a couple of other people later on, but I wanted to especially say hi to Marlene and her buddies.
Ok, there are a lot of experiences that have molded me, hammered me, etc over the years and I've repeatedly told you about the impact of prevailing paradigms on how the world sees and hears what you say, it's really interesting, so there's a lot of experience and publications, and there are some really effective ones on the web, and I'm going to give you some snapshots of those so you can get a chance of going back in there with it. And then the general images of what this CoDIAK process is, the Concurrently Developing, Integrating, and Applying Knowledge. The name sort of developed because just calling it collective IQ or repository didn't indicate what we're really talking about are the capabilities involved in doing that. So that's what the CoDIAK acronym stands for, it's the set of capabilities that seems critical. And it may be we have to somehow introduce more terms than concurrent and development and integration and application in order to be consistent about it, but it was just a name that did some good.
So this open hyperdocument system that we talk about more and more today in here is sort of the way to focus on the emergent technologies that will provide the kind of support for CoDIAK that we're talking about. And in the end we'll integrate a lot of the things that Ted has done and what a lot of other people have produced and there's no way in which we talk about is the claim that this is the path. What we're talking about is getting a start with the kind of things we've had experience with and know and using some of the up to date kind of environmentsÖ but really the big concentration on getting it started in an environment that will somehow promote the rational evolution of it and that sort of goes along with that there are no monopolies in that environment. And that all kinds of little niches will form in which evolution of some of the social organisms will start taking place. The thing we think to do for that environment is to give it the maximum visibility for every social organism about what's happening out there so that it can sort of decide and guide its own evolution and walking like that. That's the best we can do so that's why the thing we talk about is the very first important dynamic knowledge repository would sort of have that purpose in there. So if it ever gets going and you guys have helped, you guys can go on feeling more satisfied about your career, I'm sure.
Anyway, so I had brought you these concepts and when the research money dried up in the mid 70s, I got gently find that there were no more funds and SRI couldn't support us with its money, so they would have had to sort of jump the whole system and everything, but a lot of the people got a chance to get jobs at Xerox park but there were 20 some or more who weren't available to that. And we were actually managed to get it auctioned off, this NLS system, to a commercial company in Cupertino called Tymshare [pronounced "timeshare"] and they were one of the one of the very earliest producing timeshared services. And they had their own network around the country; it was slightly different from the AARPAnet. But then they got enough funding to sort of merge so that we could be the gateway between them so they acquired our stuff from SRI -- so then we had an interesting six years from 78-84 there. And then McDonnell-Douglas, in a spurt of sort of mad optimism decided it was going to get up a whole business in the information services area so they set up an information services group and acquired a $1 billion revenue worth of acquisitions to do it and down in there was Tymshare and down inside Tymshare was our little group, which was horribly named the office automation group -- you know how I hate the term automation. But what this provided was a very interesting and important thing for me, that I could walk into McDonnell Douglas as a cousin, rather than some vendor and start understanding and making friends in there, and it was just extremely good. So there was a subset of people in there that got all turned on to what we were doing and we actually got some prototypes. Meanwhile the commercial side was getting customers, building up around the country till there were some 20 or so mainframe servers around the country supporting people, and an Air Force group really started trying to see how they would really go after integrating their office automation and communications among all the airbases in the world. So they had 5 of their mainframes on their site in Illinois, and were doing things with knowledge management and etc that were very advanced. And so it would be interesting during all this time to convey enough of the details of what our system could do in order to show you the kind of unique things that it would do. So we're not going to get there now but there's a lot of background in that. And one of the really important things was that the corporate vice president of information services at McDonnell Douglas, we kept pushing his doorbell and he finally said, "I'll five you a chance; if you can go get this group of people here" and it was this group doing a multi-corporation study about very high altitude advanced aircraft thing that would fly at a hundred miles up or something like that, then I'll really listen. So about a year later we came back and said, "Well, they're interested and they're doing their project management stuff with it, and they're as excited as hell with it and so on, and that was the point where he said, "Well, I'm sorry, but I really don't think that we ought to be in that business. Besides, when I talk around, I find that IBM and DEC and Hewlett-Packard don't know anything about this link stuffÖ" It was too radical. But the lesson learned--if you're going to get a big project, like an aircraft, that's got several thousand people in the major contractors environment working through all sorts of divisions in the place, and then there's something like six thousand supplier companies out there, a hundred or so will have to be closely involved in the design of that thing, with the specifications, the exchange, the requirements and all that. And you look in there and you say, if the kind of collective knowledge work and the exchange etc that we're talking about have got to take place, the standards for how the knowledge containers are made and how you could interlink between them and follow things and portray it all is much different from thinking that they'd buy from whatever vendor they find interesting.
So we started trying to talk among the corporate people that we could find about something we called the open hyperdocument system. And we ran into a problem pretty soon that some were accusing us that McDonnell Douglas wanted to get a corner on this and it wasn't. So about then I decided I could take early retirement and Christine and her husband helped set up the bootstrap institute. We said, let's raise the flag and see if we could get the world going. So that was 11 years ago and it's been floundering and getting interested in its various ways. And all through that this open hyperdocument system and the open standards it would have to be it would have to be something that could evolve much more organically than the way it does if you're all depending when vendors are coming out with their hottest thing. And about a year ago I heard about the Open Source Movement and I said, it's exactly the kind of thing; you really need to get the people involved in the proactive use of it to get involved in the evolution, so this has been the plan. So as we talk today about some of the technology thing, it's that OHS sort of thing that's in there behind it. And it may sound sort of silly when we sit here and we don't have the world organized, we don't have the big vendors or anything behind it, but it's just a clear picture that he people who get involved say, yes it's just what has to happen so how do we get it to happen?
So anyway, that changed my perception and like I say here in this slide I'd probably bore you with it but please bear with me and let me come back and tell you some more.
[Slide: Tool Systems]
So anyway just about the standards, there are 2 areas in the tool systems development that seem mutually and basically important about standards. One is the unambiguous description, naming and usage of properties of our knowledge containers. There have to be standards in there, there just have to be that you can pass the knowledge containers around and there are standard ways to represent the standards and properties that you are going to have in there. And that's what the WWWC and the XML movement are going to do about it. So we are totally pleased to have John Bozak here with us, who's the guy that really got the XML thing going, so he blesses us with his interest and appearance. Is here hiding in here someplace? Oh yeah. He's a little bashful
The second one is unambiguous name, descriptions, etc for the functions -- the naming and usage of the functions that you can apply to the knowledge containers as you want to navigate them and look at them and certain things and massage them shape them, put them away, study, access, control, etc, and so those have to be standard and the nomenclature has to be the same. We just can't let it be that one vendor calls such and so one thing and another vendor calls it another thing, so it's the same way in the shop environment in the real world that drill chucks and shafts and tolerances and material quality etc all have standards on them that have to be there. So that's the kind of thing too that the tool system functions. So in this tool system there's this combination of how the knowledge containers are structured and indexed and properties in them are clearly standardized and also what are the things that you can do with them. So this is a very clear kid of environment in the evolution that has to take care of all that.
[Slide: Vocabulary, world-wideÖ]
So then vocabulary raises his head there has to be some standard dictionary or glossary about the tool systems in the world in whatever language that they are they'd have to have the same meaning. So verbs and nouns, things like that, or the objects you see on the screen when you're doing that. Well these are so-called related objects that are in the knowledge containers and what are the verbs and what can you do it about it. So those have to be clearly more and more standard so we can start talking about it. And the vocabulary must become more and more consciously evolved and must be in the hands of the end users which standards groups today not very in the hands of end users, that the vendors who are trying to push them out are in their eagerness to get out there in the marketplace and really get them settled -- but boy, how they're going to impact the way the usage goes in the end-user organizations is just very critical.
So how do we get an environment for evolving for this thing is very critical? So anyway going back in our history, there was a very interesting paper that I gave once in a conference in 1986 and was published inÖ huhÖ how could it be published in 85 if I gave the talk in 86? I just didn't realize how far advanced I am. [laughter] anyway, so this paper is online and it's also in our augment journal - we give a number there - so in augment we can just jump to 101931 booms and then we get a view like this. But this is more of a history and a chronology of events and it goes through year by year the kind of things that emerged and the experiences we had and it's really important to get a glimpse of where we came from. And then in 90, I published a paper called the Knowledge-Domain Interoperability and an Open Hyperdocument System [www.bootstrap.org/augment-132082.htm] and that's where this clearly came out and tried to draw a picture in that. So there's a lot in that particular paper so all these e are there by the same URL that's at the top right there. That'll be on the slides that you can get access too later. And this is a more recent one in 1992 where we're really trying to talk about things like the ABC model and CODIAK and the Open Hyperdocument System and the general groupware so there are basic properties in there that talk about things like saying, look it would be ridiculous if you don't have integrated editing and browsing in whatever tool you're using, that you move over to one to browse and then go to another to edit. That editing and generating and working on documents is a mixture of moving, shaping, viewing, and massaging, so that the environment we had was just so integrated you were just using the linkage and addressing and stuff by the minute. So you can just ask Dave Casper about the stuffÖ where did you hide? Ö
These papers give a lot of good background. And then this is a way f looking at it with a modern version of our augment thing that we have, I just entered there and looked at one particular view, one line only at one level group of the sections in there about mixed object documents, explicitly structuring, view control and all of that, and view control is so important So this is just various views such as Augment itself gives it. And it would be really interesting to demonstrate some of the Augment features but the particular medium that we're working in can't really handle the dynamics of that and that would be someday interesting. So with that sort of background we come to one of my favorite portrayals and you might remember seeing this just about once every session but for me it is just such an important starting place, it's like saying, "Hey look, down here there are things you're born with, basic human capabilities and those get augmented by a whole array of things and as you gradually learn to use the different things, the language customs, the procedures and the tools and the facilities you gradually acquire a capabilities infrastructure that is really competent. I used to call it a capability hierarchy until it finally dawned on me. I was giving a talk about this in a group and one lady politely raised her hand and asked me, "That's not really a hierarchy, is it?" And, "Oh, that's right." So it really pays to give a lot of lectures so they don't really know how much each one is adding to your knowledge. [laughter] But the concept of that infrastructure is just really important like that, that every ability is at some level dependent on the lower-level capabilities and that a lot of the lower level ones are involved in the higher level ones and down at the very bottom are these very basic human capabilities, sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and motor. And it is very important part of the mental thing too is the unconscious part that you aren't aware of. And yet so much of what we think about doing today, we're ignoring what that unconscious can do. When I'm driving in heavy traffic, I just think, God, there's a lot of stuff that I'm not aware of where the judgment decision comes from, whether I'm going to worry whether that car is going or not. Just one look and I don't know what I use to gauge it, but we're depending all the time on things like that. Later on I'd like to talk more about the thing in here where we say if we have a very different medium with which to do our communicating with the world and different things that can do sensing and triggering our sensory things etc then we can have a totally different sort of environmental interface that we can adapt to and then we'll start realizing that the way we do things now and our assumptions of them are based on the environment we grew up in. And the language we use evolved in noisy, different kind of environments of all sorts of things so the very way we choose words and express them and how long it takes to do it and how much time we give the listener to adapt to it and the environments all evolved in that sense. So you can say wait, I can have an interface that can be a much crisper, sort of thing with much clearer ways to express things and feed them back. How can I then start connecting what machinery I've got here [points to head] and the outside world? And that image has been with me since 1960 saying, thatís what's there to go after. So how do we get changing the paradigm a little bit of the sassy to learn and natural world of today, saying it's easy to learn for people with the backgrounds that we've had, and it's natural to use when you learn how to use it that it's not that much different from what you've been used to, so you've got to evolve a way. So the way that you bring in and introduce evolving tool systems in the world has a big effect on what the evolutionary opportunity is. So I'll get back to that later but it gets very irritating and irksome to some people who want to start doing something and I say, oh but! We can do it this way we can have this long-term evolutionary advantage, and we need every advantage that we can get. So something we were talking about before is if we take this and really realize the tool system and too system are definite systems within themselves and they are intimately intertwined within this capability infrastructure, the interdependence is very high, you can't come and just make significant changes in the tool system it's just going to change the capability around in here which is going to change the requirements in the human system. In order to take advantage, you just got to go. So this picture holds for one individual like you, but also holds for whatever team you're with. So with almost any social organism there is you can look at this model and say, Jesus, readapting that infrastructure upon those interdependent social organisms and institutions we have out there and they're all simultaneously going to start evolving at rates that they haven't had before. And so that co evolution of all of that is going to be a big challenge and have to be recognized, so it's not really just the co evolution between you and the tool you're using, it's the co evolution between you and the organization you're working in, and the co evolution of that organization and its external environments and on up the line. It's the co evolution of governments, humans, and nations. So when you talk about strategies, it's thinking about any chance of having a valid way to go after that kind of evolutionary thing in a sensible way, so it really deserves careful attention to that strategy. So then we say if you look at very simplified tool system as it evolves in the world and the human system as it evolves, it gives you this very crude two-dimensional picture. [Slide: Outposts on the Co-Evolution Frontier] And when we say crude, we say that each of these dimensions here is in itself a multi-dimensional thing. And the space out there is many dimensions and many paths out there through it; some will get all tangled up and some will be more successful than others, so it's a complex thing. And somebody asked me about this little elephant or whale-like thing like this and I said, if I went around the world and took each society and plotted how does it fit with how far advanced it is in using technology and how far advanced it is in evolving its human systems side, where would it fit? And I just hypothesized that the group of them would make a cluster of that shape. And that was when the margin for tools that we could foresee was about out here and so we were always creeping towards something like that where we could see and say in twenty years, where do we expect the margin to go? And we went on to present in earlier presentations that the rate of which technology is exploding today, our boundaries out there on what the technology will be able to do, that we need to start planning for them and to start thinking. It's a hugely expanded frontier. And in 20 years, wow. So it was much more of a picture of this scale e of a frontier and what we didn't have was where we wanted to get outposts, groups of people who have moved out there and have learned how to live. And it's something that we're going to talk about over and over again, about high-performance teams. That this is what my recommendation for how you go about getting outposts. And what about those high performance teams, how are they going to do you any good. And it's not the kind of thing where someone lives in a dome and is all isolated and shows what they can do for this time. These people, to really be effective, they have to be out there in what they can do and how they work together but they have to be part of the ongoing social structures of today in order to be real life and in engineering. So that means what kind of tools can they have that are way advanced out here so they can work in the same environment, well that comes right back to the kind of knowledge containers they can use. You can push ahead with characteristics that your knowledge containers can hold which are beyond what the more pedestrian users of the day would employ but the high performance ones can really zing and work with it. And if they can work on the same knowledge domain s as the people then they're there for people to watch and say, God, how did you do that? In that little time you just flipped these views and boom. Well, it's just the way, if you just ask for those kinds of views and learn how to crock it all quickly and at the same time you're reaching around to grasp the most significant ones and you got an idea for where you want it to go so you preset your launch and it goes up. Well I don't understand what you're saying, but how can I learn? Well, you're only a grade 4 pedestrian now but this is grade 8b level stuff but you can work on it and you'll get it in a couple of months and stuff. So I can't imagine any other evolution sort of thing other than that. So when we're looking for a way to start implementing an open hyperdocument system, this has been the kind of thing it is. So by the end of the day we give you the feeling for the potential for what's there today to get started on that.
The high performance team is very important like I said and they can use special tool and human system enhancements but are operating over the same knowledge domains as everyone else. [Slide: Important strategically to cultivate high-performance teams.] And their capabilities are visible to the people around them. So we had things like that back in the 70s, this shared screen thing, where somebody who was a trainer or supporter, someone who was having trouble called them up and they'd say, 'Let me see your screen' and then bang, so now I see what's on your screen. Oh, that's what you're doing, well just pass me the controls and I'll show you what you can do. So they could actually adopt the whole range of tool capabilities a person had to show them how to do it. But also the system that I'll show.
ENGLEBART: Ö So, looking at some of the basic human capabilities was kind of important for us, and what we do now today as I mentioned evolved a very different environment from whatís going to be in the future, so we need to question every aspect of custom and skill and how we do things. So this is sort of a bet that the professional knowledge workers of 2020 will show definite signs of a basic shift in the way their thoughts transform back and forth from internal to external. Whatís more, what would be really interesting, is to take surveys of what peopleís assumptions is: what are they going to think of us when they look back? I keep thinking, "What do we think of when we read about the dark ages before 1300s or something like that and I think, Jesus, dim, religious, some baron has them under control, just a very mean life and just a dim outlook on the world. Well, Iíd be willing to bet that people in twenty years will look back at us now in a pitying way and say Jesus, here these people were sitting on the brink of a frontier and look what their perception of it was and they were still messing around with their old way of thinking. So anyway, Iíve been embarrassed enough and itís not going to bother me, but you kids it might be different, see?
So anyway this is the kind of stuff that I worked with back there. I said look there are mental structures going on in your head. And then we got these concepts that we clarify and we could move the concepts in our mind and then we attach symbols to those concepts and then we have language that we can talk about and think with and etc. And there was a guy called Benjamin Whorf who did stuff in early language in America and he had a Whorfian hypothesis about the worldview of a culture is really limited by the language they employ and I thought thatís really great. So I thought that the worldview of the people now trying to look in the future is really going to be limited by the concepts and etc they employ and stuff like that
And views and portrayals that weíve been used to a very limited set in technologies weíve had in the past, the pencils and printers, and things like that, whereas the computer has so many more flexible views to convey things to us that we have yet to learn how to employ that in our basic dialogue and thinking. So hereís a picture I got of saying, well, hereís our basic human. Sensory perceptions, and mental operations, and some of itís even conscious. I usually draw the conscious as a smaller circle than this because I got to be much more aware how much of what happens to us is something that weíre not all conscious at all of. The real breakthrough of that came that I eat much more slowly than other people do. Now why is that? And finally I got to thinking, you know, it just take s me more chews before Iím ready to swallow. Well what makes you ready to swallow? You deciding? Oh, five chews and Iím ready to swallow? No, thereís itís just something about the comfort of it, so I donít have any idea where that came from but itís a definite unconscious thing that it just s not ready to swallow yet so Iím the last one always, so it was always a great handicap in the navy [laughter]. Come on Engelbart, the ships sinking! No, I have to finish this...
Anyway, so the whole set of concepts is really amazing and then the time came when they attached it to symbols, which was a huge advance for us, but then not only spoken language and gestures and etc and then it became a printed language it just Ė huge changes in the whole world. Well, that change is, qualitatively speaking, sort of akin to whatís going to happen only itís going to be a sort of first wave, and the tidal wave is yet to hit us. The opportunities are huge for there, Iím sure.
So anyway, this thing that became new in our evolution was making an external map of this internal concept structure. And so we did that with all kinds of clumsy tools at first and more and more flexible ones etc but the ways in which we employ the actual representation of verbal words etc on the paper etc was a direct evolution from that and we just have a really different possibility now for how we represent it and establish it and view it. Just very, very different.
So this is a figure that I used to evolve step by step. [Slide: the Online System] But this isnít the cathode ray tube over here on the left, this is the human with his sensual preceptor input and the motor output trying to operate in the world and heís got computer support with his language heís using and got computer tools and the processes and methods he employs and then heís got his open ended vocabulary for actually dealing out there. Heís got to have fast concurrent control because itís very different now from just a pencil or something because wow he can fly through space and heís shipping, so he wants fast concurrent control and we worked at that and backed that.
He wants to be able to manipulate the content as well as the structural relationship between the elements in there which is not just cutting and pasting but moving sections, so we added really structured files, hierarchically structured, that we can manipulate and view within the hierarchy and move with very flexibly. Integrating text and graphics, of course, allowing for in file naming and addressing, just right from the beginning saying you donít want to just be able to have a link or a URL that points to a file, you want to be able to talk about any object in it explicitly without ambiguity. So we got a whole bunch of flexible ways in which we do that, including the way in which he says, oh you keep in your name place and your directory a branch with a certain label on it, and thereís a link that youíre going to keep up to date all the time pointing to the latest something or the other out there and all I have to do is have my link whose specification is go to that place and take that link so in that address thereís a definite place for it for taking a different link. In fact, this can be strung indefinitely in our environment. So it has a flexibility and programmers use it all the time inside their computers, they call it indirect addressing, so we had to send direct linking, so we use it all the time we keep saying, boy would that really be valuable in the world today, all right, letís figure out how we can set up a sort of structure of prototype of an OHS that can provide for that kind of stuff. So things have come together that I can tell you about, if I can stop talking so muchÖ
So anyway, computer storage, positions in the file being very important for if we want remote jumps and manipulations, generating a lot of optional views was very basic, so we only got a certain number of them at the time before we got shut off for research. And then displaying and then showing it back to your perceptual machinery, and at the same time you could show it back to other people, weíve been doing it since 74. There are a lot of experiences being used, not as a demo thing at all but that was the way we worked. We were doing all our programming, all our user guides, our requirements, all our specs, requirements, communications and field support. There are more things than that too that we can talk about. [slide: composite and structured] So this is just giving an example that every object in a file was addressable. The actual structure, since space in the computer was so limited compared to today that a very efficient way to do that was to have all these little cells that could be interlinked very flexibly and each one within would point to a respective set of text or graphics. So that represented the hierarchy and moving things around meant changing the pointers around here and here. So this is sort of an option for databases. Anyway, it was a very intent thing.
We made this thing called a journal, got it running in 1970. So hereís the process you want to submit a document, itís going to a repository and is catalogued, so you had a document that was ready. You prepare the submittal form and in one place in there was a link to the document you want to submit and in that submittal form there are fields, like what kind of access control that I want from this, who do I want to get announcements etc about it, this supercedes some other document, which one? This document is a part of a string of documents beginning with what. Etc? So there were quite a few fields in there that were part of it and when you submitted it, boom - that document was put there in the repository and it was guarded, just guaranteed that it would never get changed. And whenever you went to get it again it would be as it was at that time. And also there was an announcement forum that went over email that went to everyone you wanted to say, Hey, this has just been journaled. And included is this link here. Click. Boom! So you never sent a document you just sent this little link.
And if you had a document that was superceded, every time you jumped to it on some link before it came to you, you got an announcement saying it had been superceded. And there were even ways which you could track that any given passage in one document you could go find it in the same one and in the next one in a very direct way without having-without saying-you didnít-without rearranging structurally where it was in the document but it didnít matter you could go find it. So there are a lot of things in there that we learned to work with and we loved to build prototypes like that and the world started seeing because it really just changed the way the dialogue was going very much. And one of the changes was interestingly enough, everyone felt a little reluctant to install something on a permanent basis like that and one guy had such a hang up to it that he never, never could, he would just say, I donít know I just canít make up my mind if itís ready to be permanent yet. It was a very interesting social problem in this evolution. So what I did then, was I realized we brought out a first form of email at the same time that this was inaugurated in 1970. And so what I did was put a padlock on email; I said, the only way youíre going to communicate is through the journal. You mean anything I put in is going to be journaled? Right, until we learn to use it. So we have some old journal entries on some of the old tapes there that say, "Whoís going to meet me at the beer place tonight for pizza or something like this?" So sure, it got natural. And even software guys could imagine. After they had a design meeting, theyíd say, okay, whoís going to journal the notes and it was just a matter of course. So itís a very important thing that we have to get involved in this and controlling the views as we said. So this just in this paper is a very important reading thing of augment provisions in there. [slide] Itís in the OAD Journal, its number 2250. And this little address here says, go to branch 7 at that. And after the colon there are some characters that tell explicitly what kind of view you want in there. It says, in all the levels turn on the numbers, and show all the text in every paragraph and give a blank line in between them. So boom, thatís what youíll see. So the next view says, oh, EBT, so that means I want that level and one line below only and only one line in each paragraph and one level below it. So thatís what youíll see next time. So if you want the next view it says ĎZGí so that says I want to close, no blank line between it, and I only want to look at whatís underneath Ď7.í [slide changes, demonstrating change] So bingo, thatís what youíll see. So just very flexible in the kind of encoding of that sounded for Oakett(?) setter but it took me a whole weekend to design all that stuff and it was sufficient for a bit of research (?) but everybody learned it. And just especially with the way we had to control it with the left hand. Just very fast, so it made a big difference.
SOME GUY: blahblahblahblahblahblah?
ENGLEBART: Yeah, Iíd like to demonstrate it to you guys sometime. How do you demonstrate it? I could just wave it at you, I guess. So anyway, thatís just part of what we learned. So thatís part of what got us dumped because everyone just looked at all of that and said, Good God! Thatís not the way to automate secretaries! But we found that we could bring in someone from a temp unit and within an hour they could be working because we could set them up with a very limited vocabulary and thatís all theyíd see. And then we also had this thing with external documents which, if your system is going to work, it isnít just fancy online. So as long as you have objects that are external and etcetera, hey, why not keep track of them too? So youíd get this kind of arrangement with mail, shared files, journal things that are permanent, and external documents. So what you do is catalog them and theyíd be in the same catalog. So what that would mean is in there you could tell whatís pointing to what. So if in here you were talking about a given paper or something like that, that citation discussion would show up in the external doc cataloging which means you were starting to get control of the interaction and all of that which was very worthwhile. So unfortunately I could never build up enough enthusiasm that kept trying to get started but ended up getting drawn and quartered (?) because either the internal software guys would never very hot about doing some of the things we wanted to do.
[slide] Then we talked about the intelligence system that can be part of the dynamic depository and the tool system has to support it. [slide] So the external document control is just a very interesting part of it. That part of the intelligence would have things like mail, journal files, shared files, and ex files, and that would be all part of what youíre collecting about whatís going on in the outside world that would be valuable and interesting. And at the same time, what we called the handbook, we wanted to put together these three modules in the dynamic repository, recorded dialogue, external intelligence, knowledge product, and for many years what we called the knowledge product thing was the handbook, we likened it to saying that anyone given time is likely to online handbook can look and find explicitly the current state of some kind of knowledge, argument, issue, budget, etc is. And dynamically those things would try to be kept updated just like you trying to do thatÖ so anyways.
So how do you do the handbook? Well that a lot of times we say if itís really the current state and you nailed it down, it ought to be in the journal, so look at that so those were our perceptions about that. So within McDonnell Douglass and all that, the thing we did for the national aerospace program, I was reading it went to work showing how inside of this they could move around inside the documents in this and how flexible it was to cross link between them and how flexible it was to make status reports every week. And they just ended up showing how they could do it and then by the time the entire status report would come out it would link to prior status reports and other things like that and then it would automatically- they were really interested in macro systems- they would gather them together, put them together in a particular way, and then journal them. So every week there was a journaled status report that was in the golon(?) that could point unerringly to every one of the prior ones that was ever there and to any of the critical discussions that came about and boy! They just loved it. So when we got cancelled out of that, they just said, Weíll do it with IBM for whatever system they had at the time. I forgot the name of it, but four guys worked on it for months and never got Ė pardon?
SOME GUY: Was it IMF?
ENGLEBART: No, it was before that, but anyway, we began talking about an augmented knowledge workshop. If you look at how any effective workshop works in any industry or something like that, you realize that there is a set of tools, and there are materials, and materials have to come in standards too. And all the standards describe how youíre going to shape or surface or plate or something. So itís very much to say weíve got a knowledge workshop and weíve got to evolve that. And there are workshops for communities, which are somewhat different from your private one or one for a close-ordered team. So these are things that are there in the literature. And a workshop utility service was something that in 1973 we started specifying. And by 1974 we actually opened up -- a research group opened up almost kind of like a commercial support service so people on the AARPANET, which were mostly government at the time, could subscribe and they could pay us money for the service and they could start learning how to do it. So this was one of the things that got us into trouble because this was not research, but boy, if youíre going to climb the hill we were talking about thatís what youíre going to have to do. So there were many things that we did that were very exciting.
So these were all the things about augmented knowledge workshops Ė there was quite a bit of talk in the Ď80s about that. All of that history and orientation about the workshop thing and the co evolution, all sort of wrapped up in the approach being formulated and pictured of how an open hyperdocument system should take place. Hereís when we started thinking, hereís your computer and hereís your terminal and your computer may be embedded in a terminal, of course, but everything you do, with your mouse or pointer or keyboard goes into your operating system and it communicates with your application program. And if the application program wants to work on files, it uses the operating system to communicate with the files, or the outside world. So weíve got those two domains out there that people are talking about, and Microsoft has got its Windows operating system and all its applications: Word, Excel, and spreadsheets and so on. And even X has its own operating system and its own language.
So anyway, this is a good enough world - thatís important. [New Slide] But letís look that the application program has two kinds of functions: one is how it interacts with user and the other is how it does the work itís supposed to do; the front-end and the backend. So why donít we separate those? [New Slide] Itís easy enough to separate them, but why not just do that in an isolated package? And why not do just a general front end like this [New Slide] thatís how we use that to interact with any of the applications. So this was the sort of model that weíve been building in our system and itís something that I really think will be important in the OHS world because in there youíve got not only the documents that youíre thinking of today, the spreadsheets, but youíve got to work people who are modeling the complex economic systems or the complex computer aided design theyíre doing for all sorts of specialized domains. Those all have to be interfaced in the same way to point to things, talk about them work togetherÖ so when weíre talking Ė uh, I just realized I was supposed to be in a certain time at a certain place in my slide presentation, but I donít know. Whoís keeping my time? Where did Marcelo go? [silence and confusion, interspersed with chuckles] Oh well. [laughter]
So anyway, when we ever GET to talk about that, youíll see that the formulation to me is very important. Picking out a technology that is available to do that and in really interesting ways, and weíll talk about that [later]. So the system we built was like that. We had a whole separate module we called the user interface system; and it was separate enough that it had a communication channel, called the procedure call interface, through the network, to the server. So, they could be sitting either on the same machine or on a separate one. What happened in here, taking care of all the control? Well, we had a virtual terminal controller that, depending on what kind of terminal you were, that would hook it up with a terminal characteristics file so that it could deal with your, for instance, your typewriter or 2D display or things like that and today thereís a wider variety too. And then everything that came through from that terminal, when it sort of cleaned it up so that it was user input would be passed to this command language interpreter (CLI) that would interpret what that was doing and call for support service and get that back in. WE actually had that at any given time that interpreter would attach itself to a grammar file that told it the language; what was coming down the stream and what that was supposed to mean and what you were supposed to do about it. And also to a user profile for that user that says this is how big a language this guy wants or how he wants to shorten some things or abbreviate this and stuff like that. All that led for a real evolution in the flexibility in what you were doing. So you had a very simple grammar and a very simple profile for a newly hired secretary and then the other guys would pride themselves in how rich they could get and then youíd begin to grow. So we got operations and verbs and nouns beginning to get in there. And incidentally we settled on explicitly dealing with it as verbs and nouns. And you can do that today, too; I want to group that cluster, or something. Then how you want to designate any particulate object or noun and designate what action or verb you wanted to do to it; thereís lots of flexibility available in there. So thatís the picture that I feel that we need to get in the open hyperdocument system too, so that you can really get evolution going on in there. Meanwhile, the standards for whatís in the file can evolve to be able to keep up with being able to handle the advanced ones and the simple users wouldnít even have to know that those properties were there; there are properties in our file that some people never found out about. Every paragraph, for example, had a rec that said who changed that last and when. And everyone had an indent [ID], so it was a simple indent. Well some of the things we could do with that was filter. We could turn that on and say, I want to see only whatís been changed by so-and-so, or only within a certain time. That was just because we had all these viewing options so why not? So not many other people would know how to use it, but in the software world, boy! And that was because all our software was hyperlinked and hypermedium structured like that too. So what happens? Iíve got a bug in something Ė thatís funny, it was working just a month ago, whatís happened? Who has been in there in the last month? So you look in there and say, Fred. He was there. Just show me everything Fred changed and weíll find the bug. [chuckle] so there are things like that that have applicability in many places, so why not make a standard provision in the file structure so that you can start doing that so that as more and more people start to learn how to employ it, they can, but they donít have to bump into it if they donít want to. This is the sort of thing that the XML extensions to HTML documents provide you with.
Oh, no, we canít have questions; that would make me Ė we got to find more ways to do dialogues, so weíll try to do it at the end. Sorry, I got to hurry; Iím behind.
So even the way that these two user interface systems could start to connect, by 1974 the relationship our relationship was any place tying into in the environment that you wanted connected. [New Slide] So both guys are watching what this top showing user was doing. Or you could pass control so the controls came this way through it. Or you could put in 10 or 15 people and pass the controls between them and watch them. We published about shared-screen service and thought the world would be excited, but it wasnít until 2 years ago that much of that was being done in a conventional way. [New Slide] And then if youíve got that kind of thing, almost anyone then could learn to write command scripts. Those could be fed into the command language interpreter (CLI) and interpreted. Boy, we found that one of our women support persons who had no idea how to do accounting was working with a customer person who also had no idea and together, they kept on messing up, not telling anybody Ė and they had a whole accounting system in work. And they were so proud of it! And it would grind away and consume a lot of power and was very slow but it would grind away and do the work but it would do the job, so it was hard to scold themÖ
But all of that was part of designing a system that could evolve. [New Slide] The thing was we had an interface system and the conjecture was that was going to be hey, that thing could work in many application domains and you have one interface server. We were trying to do that and reach through there to other kinds of applications packages. McDonnell Douglass started talking to us about putting it into CAD systems and database and things of that sort but we got truncated. But this idea, this intermediate server. Lo and behold I found that IBM has a design plan they call the web-based intermediary; that would be called the ĎWBIí Ė we got pictures. So the things that we wanted to do would be something like that. So a little bit later, I canít remember when, but when I get there they quit. Jim Spohrer is going to get me pictures of the WBI status, and some of the other things that were going to be involved in that, but I wanted to give you some background of the concepts Ė where this is coming from, that itís not just somebody just saying letís get together and build the next open hyperdocument system. We got this framework to start with and itís certainly open for a lot of evolution in it and improvement, but thereís just a lot of experience out there behind it. Iím sure itíll be a very good launching thing for OHS 1 to 1.5 before everyone else with great ideas and modern evolution will be taking off and Iíll be sitting out there, waving off and sort of disappeared. Or as this really interesting story goes, I must hurry because there they go and Iím their leader. [laughter] thatís the way itís going to be. So you guys in the world will take this off and Iíll be saying, hey, wait for me Ė Iím supposed to be your leader!
In this sort of thing thereís a special relevance to things in here; thereís this guy who sneaks in periodically into this meeting and heís here today named Neil Scott and heís got a group called the Archimedes Project at Stanford and heís part of this group around the world thatís really working hard to get computer interfaces for handicapped people and things like that. So heís furnished the kind of URLs here [New Slide] that you can point to.
Neil doesnít know that where Iíd really position that thing, thatís some of the most important research going on in the world. And itís important enough that it helps handicapped people with different kind of handicaps in their sensory, motor, apparatus where they cannot effectively use todayís interfaces, so theyíre finding ways to do it. But what it opens a door for us is to start thinking, hey, you see someone who canít move their arms but is blinking and moving their face a little bit control the computer. And then you realize that people who are blind can sense Braille so fast that you canít believe. And people doing sign language getting ways to do signs and communicate and you just realize that youíve not been aware of what people who have normal sensory and motor faculties Ėwe just go along doing the same old dumb way that weíve been doing in the past we got to start thinking about how we can extend the use of the sensory and perceptual and motor things that weíve got and all the unconscious things that we can learn so we can move ahead. These guys are making outposts out there that we have to recognize. Itís just extremely important.
One of the things that he tells me he has is a gadget which is a total access system that includes both hardware and software and you can get any of the motor stuff like that and it can get it into any computer system and pretend itís a cursor driving mouse or a keyboard actuator etc, so that means whatever that computerís interface is whether you point and click or type or push buttons, you can drive applications. That means that you can put any interface you want in front of that and drive things. So instead of going down to the side of the system where youíd like to find a clean application programming interface that they talk about Ė the vendors arenít very good about providing that Ėyou can go back out here like and drive it. So anything your application is capable of doing, you can do. So thatís what I think about some of the high performance teams that got to go cleave with them for hey weíve been ignoring you all this time, but let us that interface for a while and experiment with how we can twitch and wiggle and grunt and [New Slide] drive stuff more effectively. So this is what Iíve been saying; [New Slide] how to extend our "normal" sensory and motor facilities into more effective utilities than we can even contemplate. That [Neil Scottís] "total access system" is something to try to get in charge with. Some time we should try to get Neil to tell us something, if heís not too embarrassed. [New Slide] so then this IBMís web based intermediaries has some important advantages. Weíre going to get in the schedule; we can bring [Jim Spohrer] in sometime, right? OK. We had another schedule we were going to do. Well, we were about to put Jerry Glen on the spot, but we donít know where his slides are. What do you recommend, on the spot, command and control?
SOME GUY: [incomprehensible]
ENGLEBART: Well, what are we going to do when we get to them later then? [chuckle] Ok; weíll leave it there; and Jerry Glen whom youíve seen on video twice, talking about his millennium project for the UN University and heís here visiting, so heíll be here talking. You got a handheld mike? Yeah? Ok.
GLEN: Weíre about ready to run out of tape, I thinkÖ
ENGLEBART: Oh, okay, we donít have slides Ė
GLEN: You donít need slides. Use your imagination! Silicon Valley: imagination replacing matter.
ENGLEBART: Give me a minute to find it, just go ahead.
GLEN: No, itís really ok. We honestly donít need it.
I guess I was asked to get involved with this in some degree because we are either a guinea pig or a prototype and Iím not sure which. The Millennium Project is, as youíve heard, is the beginning of the capacity of humans to think together in a cumulative way. Sort of what the doctor has been talking about. One of the mechanisms that we use for the Ė letís see, I should get his notes here and start learning his vocabulary now Ė the dynamic knowledge repository; we have a website; that is where you use your imagination. Imagine a grid. Going across the top are the domains. And we talked about having to have certain domains and standards on the domains. So we have certain domains for this: one is human capacity, another is technological capacity, another is environmental change and biodiversity Ė there are about five or six of these things. One of them is called integration whole futures. Thatís kind of like, you know, where things donít always fit in; you know, you stick them in right in that group. And then so imagine those 6 domains going across the screen. Now imagine going down on the left side of the screen are individuals, institutions, and maybe weíll have to add next, issues, opportunities, actions, challenges, websites, questions, and so forth. In this grid then, youíd click on one of these cells and it says what is the current state of play of actions to address that biodiversity issue. So thereíll be a statement action number 1, number 2, 3 and so forth. With each action will be a range of judgments collected from one on one interviews around the world from policy makers who are supposed to have the responsibility to do that action because they might want to say that action wonít work until we get a standard definition by scientists around the world. Until that time, we canít back that action because the business community wonít back this policy because there is not an even playing field. Precise. Crisp. So we have a whole bunch of those comments, like a paragraph or 2 around each action. Now, where weíre at, at this point is that we collect those information about the actions and descriptions of those problems through repeating questionnaires so that every year culminates into the next set of stuff and we produce an annual state of the book Ė thatís right, annual state of the book is this. [Holds up book: 1999 State of the Future] Next year there may not be an annual state of the book; it might have to be the state of the CD-ROM and a better executive summary because it is very intimidating to walk into some financierís office and saying, "Read that, thatís your homework for the cabinet meeting tomorrow." However, that becomes an excuse, a deadline for us to get stuff together; itís a mechanism for the management. We would like to move in the process of this to not only use the questionnaires to collect them in a batching way, and the interviews to get a judgment in a batching way, which is becoming rather large, and there is a lot of information in this system. And thereís a lot for anybody to even get close to adjusting, even if they know what theyíre looking for. So weíd like to, in a sense, do some of what you [Engelbart] are talking about here. Weíve got enough up right now, so a person can go through each year: the questionnaires, who played, all the information is there. So youíve got the grid, but itís also timed out, year by year. You can actually see how the accumulation of knowledge has gone. What Iíd like to do in addition to what weíre doing right now is to have anyone to click on, read it, and say, "That position is not correct today. There is now a new capacity that you donít know about." So thereíll be an option Ė and hopefully within this year we might do it Ė a mailto function the person who clicks that on says hereís how to change that. It doesnít go to a person; it goes to a preset list server within the millennium project to a set of identified and self-identified experts on that issue around the world because our stuff, unlike most of the stuff in the world today is trying to be inter-cultural, inter-institutional, and interdisciplinary. By inter-institutional I mean thereís the private sector, the UN, there are businesses, there are corporations, government people, religious leaders, NGOs, so itís a cross-section of cultural orientations as well as the normal cultural sort Ė like the Europeans and Americans and that sort of stuff. So we would have a peer group, in a sense, set of individuals who that piece of email would go to. There would be a chair; that chair would have a month to collect the views from all the folks that may want to query that person back on something so they would have a sort of ad hoc working group on it. Then, when they come to a conclusion that thatís the position Ė or they canít get to a position Ė then it once again, like the millennium prizes (?), says, all right, hereís the range of the opinions on that. So you donít have to know the truth or anything about philosophy I learned as a kid; you donít have to know the truth but youíve got to be clear about your confusion. So we would put that back up there so when youíd click back on that next time, it says, hereís the other stuff and hereís the evolution on that. So hereís the dynamic on that; and hereís our approach to that dynamic modeling so far. And one of the things that Iím interested about right here is how do we take the best that you all are discussing and try it out Ė this is where we become a guinea pig Ė in different cultures? Because we have nodes in places like Tehran; Tokyo; Magharai (sp?), India; Australia, about eleven different places around the world and each one is slightly different. Theyíre supposed to be a little microcosm of the whole thing; theyíre part government, part UN, part corporation, part university and part NGO. So weíre also trying to create a new organizational space from which new kinds of behaviors can emerge. They, then, cannot only be a source of new thoughts for the bootstrapping thing but also a place to try them out. Why donít I pause and take a couple of questions?
WOMAN: How do you know youíve given all the voices a hearingÖ?
GLEN: We donít hear all the voices. We donít pretend to hear all the voices; weíre not doing any kind of statistical polling. Weíre not here to say the average human thinks this. Thatís Gallupís job. We donít do that. If we wanted to do something about the future of physics in 1905 we might have interviewed two people and that would have been sufficient, maybe 3, all right? Weíre not looking for that. Weíre looking for what is the reasonable range of well-informed judgment. I work in a lot of many countries in the world and this philosophical fiction about making sure that you have this person represented and this person represented Ė well, this person has got his education from Stanford so what youíre really hearing here is this Stanford professorís thing and not really India. So our approach to that is to create these cross-diverse nodes that are really different themselves so that the people they pick also allow them to be found. They then represent a range of views. Is this all the views that are on the earth? No. Do we want to have all the views on the earth? Iím not sure, [it] may be too much. But what I want is the range of views that have been vented by a range of people and scrubbed over. So itís not a Gallup and no, we donít have the ambition to do that. What weíre trying to do is to help the human species think together about the future in a well informed way as efficiently as we can. The UN General Assembly is one approach Ė but one to argue about its efficiency. So no, weíre not trying to collect all the views. If someone says that the earth is flat, then no, weíre not going to write it in.
PARTICIPANT: It seems to me that simply gathering an idea of whatís best even is maybe not quite it. For example, look at sorting algorithms. There are many different sorting algorithms, each one essentially a deterministic output for many input variables and depending on which one is best for a given application depends on what the inputs are and what [are] the desired outputs. And so it seems to me that the best case would be to identify an unambiguous outcome of many inputs.
GLEN: Okay, one of the many ways that weíre attempting to struggle with that is that we have an experimental node in Maui. At the Maui high performance computing center out there with some folks. And obviously weíve got the project wrong; Iím in Washington and the computers are in Hawaii, but anyway. So you could see some weaknesses in the management right off the bat. [laughter] What weíre looking at is creating a cyber game and if you can imagine a piece of paper folded in half. On this [front] side is a game, on this [back] side is the people with the day to day working as far as theyíre concerned; theyíre not playing a game but with real problems I n the world. On this side [front] in the middle we have all the knowledge weíre accumulating and actions and various situational stuff and a person can come into here Ė and this is what weíre going to design so if someone wants to design with us weíd be happy to do this Ė so someone comes into play this world game and theyíre trying to blow out this world problem, whether it is prectis [huh?] or war or whatever it is theyíre going to blow it out and they have certain strategies to do that. And theyíre get graded by some preset knowledge base over here on how well theyíre doing that. When they get to a point where you donít know Ė youíre at the top of the thing in a particular area Ė you hook through to reality [front]. I.e., you win reality. So letís say you come up with a strategy to beat the virus in the AIDS thing that has not been thought of before and this little person here [back] Ė this is sort of like having their little expert groups Ė so these people have some sort of preprogrammed thing where they say, Iím working on AIDS, this is where we are, these are the things that we canít solve and this is where the next ideas are going to lead. You find someone like that in the world, I donít care who they are, but I want to talk to them, right then. So when that person gets to that point with a new strategy and thereís nothing matching there, then boom Ė off this comes itís communicated to that person. Now why would these people play on this [back] side? Because if you had a world screening system to get to the person who had the knowledge Ė whether itís a taxicab driver or a president, it doesnít matter Ė then you might very well want to take the time to define your problem in such a way that is compatible to the game. Get the idea? So thatís one way we want to Ė cause then we can do this universal knowledge stuff, this general stuff, but extremely precise at the same time through the game. So thatís what the Maui team is experimenting around with but theyíre not a formal node yet but theyíre playing around with us; itíll take some time. And we were thinking of doing cooperation with them later because theyíre coming out with a new distribution system so we might want to have a game with theyíre distribution. You heard it here first.
But itís a few years down the road.
ERIC ARMSTRONG (PARTICIPANT): Do you have any thought to the kinds of features and functions youíd want to see in some dynamic knowledge system? Are you coming up with some predefined expectations of what you find to be good?
GLEN: Well obviously I didnít communicate it on the visual slide that was supposed to be the beginning of it. I guess I did need the slide after all. But that was the beginnings of it. One, you could go in and find out the evolution of anything, how it got there. You really wouldnít want to because thereís just too much stuff, but one could and there would be the questionnaires, the rating systems, and who did the rating, and cross comment, and all of that up to a point. You could also see how that fits into the rest of the world situation, whatís the relationship to it. We are also in the process of collecting indicators right now on how to measure progress on these questions and disaggregating that region: how do you measure that in Russia and how is that measured in Buenos Aires; that is going on right now. And weíre going to interview about that Ė you know, how useful would that be for you, Mr. Chief of Strategy of Argentina, would you respond to that indicator or not, and why not? So weíre in that now. Thatís in play and we want to stick that back and upgrade this grade, the stuff underneath the grid.
Now Iím very much listening where you would take that idea for a futures matrix. For those of you who have seen the movie [chuckle] Ö a little paranoia helps focus the mind. So weíre calling it the futures matrix for right now. You can go to our website: www.acnu.org - 3 minutes left? Ok. Whatís the best 3-minute question?
PARTICIPANT: Thereís a lot of controversy about the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the views that it holds. And I was interested that the domains that you listed actually didnít include economic activity and trade.
GLEN: I didnít finish them all, yes, and one of them is international trade and wealth.
PARTICIPANT: Because this seems to be a great tool in fact to let all the voices be heard that are trying to be heard and maybe people should talk about it more as a place to put all of those voices.
GLEN: Yeah. All is a big word. It is also a politeness. One of the things I learned from a boss of mine when I worked overseas in development and business was the right information, the appropriate next step Ė Iím talking about the appropriate technologies, also the appropriate information, appropriate knowledge, appropriate management Ė was the next piece. Iím really guilty of producing a book like this for crying out loud, and this stuff is really distilled down; the actual stuff behind it is like this [spreads out arms]. But Iím really glad Ė yes Ė economics and trade and wealth. And also wealth, weíre also looking at the future of wealth because if we have wealth in the way weíre going to have it today, weíll need three earths to maintain what weíre doing. So we need to change the nature of wealth and thatís very much in the dialogue as well. Yes?
ANDREW PAM: Yes, I just wanted to comment on the concept of hearing everybodyís voices; thatís a long standing threat in computer collaborative discussions: USENET, email mailing lists, more recently web discussions. More recently, the new news site slash dot [www.slashdot.org] has been looking at that where any time you allow a fully open discussion system, not all voices are constructive; you get flaming, you get people whose voice to be heard basically want to interfere with the discussion. So you canít really do that without filtering.
GLEN: Thatís right. Our strategy for that so far is that we have a list serve of people who are actually doing the work in the project and Ė forgive me everyone who sees this [the video I think] Ė not everybody is there because they are more verbose than others; so even though they are regular participants they are not there. Sometimes we get our fingers burned and that is just the nature of progress. The other is we have a public one. Anybody can get into our website, self select; they can do whatever they want to do. Now we can delete them and they can re-sign, and delete them and re-sign, but thatís how we manage that. Now, I saw a wave in the back: weíre out of tape? Yes, okay. Yes?
PARTICIPANT: Could you say anything of the effects youíve seen so far; youíve been gathering a lot of information for the past couple of years; youíve been condensing it and putting it out there. Now, have you seen that influence any decisions being made or processes?
GLEN: Yeah, itís a real touchy business because Ė Iíll give you an example; the UN University did a study several years ago about the use of Japanese surplus in economic development. The next year Japanís foreign assistance doubled. Now Japan does not want to say Ė this is getting out of line, isnít it? [Consults with someone] Oh GOOD, this was off the record. [laughter] Now Japan doesnít want to say that the UN influenced its decision. [laughter] Youíll see that in Siberia next month. Decision makers donít want to be told; itís a gentle process. When we do our interviews one on one, itís also a debriefing for decision makers; itís part of the dynamic process. So not only are we saying, Mr. or Mrs. Decision maker, whatís your view on this? But this is also a briefing. Weíve had UNEP do a bunch of stuff and development stuff and okay: one minute? Or your fingerís cold? OK; one-minute question.
PARTICIPANT: The difficulty with the inside and outside group is trying to extend the decision making process so thereís only the outside group and during the filtering for serious content versus all the rest, have you touched any of that.
GLEN: Yes, people can move from the quote, open system, into the professional system and the way that they do it is fill out the questionnaires and do some of the work. Now our work is not easy Ė and I can show it to you on one of our questionnaires and indicators Ė and you fill that out, you do that; and you have a right to walk through the door. So there is that system. Now at the same time I was a part of the New Jersey Institute of Technologyís EYES (?) experimental study system back in the Ď70s or whenever, and when somebody didnít act in a nice way, we deleted them. The person barely talks to me to this day. But, you get your fingers burned in the name of progress.
PARTICIPANT: But thatís a good thing.
PARTICIPANT: That they donít talk to you anymore. [laughter]
GLEN: Okay, yes? All right. Sayonara. See you in the future.
<End of Session 4, Tape 1>
ENGELBART COLLOQUIUM AT STANFORD ONLINE
An In-Depth Look at
"The Unfinished Revolution"
January 27, 2000
JIM SPOHRER: Okay, Iím Jim Spohrer from IBM Almaden research. Doug has asked me to tell you a little bit about the WBI [pronounced Ďwebbieí] technology. Iíd like to start with a question: can anyone guess why we decided to call WBI WBI? Yes, in the back? Yes, thatís correct. [laughter] It stands for IBM upside down, very good! [New Slide] So um, the WBI technology, how many here have written a java applet or program? Ok, about a quarter or third or so. If youíre unfamiliar with java, then Iím going to give a very brief technical definition and then Iím going to get into some more application-oriented stuff. So think of WBI as a web programmable proxy server that can exist on the client proxy position or server that can monitor the flow of information and edit and customize it. Why WBI? Information is flowing around us in the world; it is flowing everywhere. And whenever information flows, there is opportunity to add value to that information and so for example, if a person is reading a web page and doesnít understand a word, there is an opportunity to come in and provide a definition for that word. [New Slide: wbi.almaden.IBM.com/dictionary/dict] Or if youíre reading a web page and you see the word ĎIntelí then you can go see what the latest stock price is. This is just some of the stuff you could do if youíre monitoring the flow of info and thinking about how to add value. And I predict that by about 2010, paper books, as we know it will go away; we wonít have any paper books any more. Why wonít we have paper books? Paper books are inefficient because they donít have intermediary capabilities built in. If youíre reading a book and you want to have the book read to you; if youíre reading a book and you donít know the meaning of a word; if youíre reading a book and you want more information, intermediaries are the way to go. Now Iíll tell you a little bit about intermediaries as we go along but I remember the early days of designing educational software, which was something I did in the distant past. When we were building educational software, one of the hardest buttons to build Ė youíre trying to design educational software and then you try to design this little button for more information. And in the old days Ė even in CD-ROMs Ė when you push that button, you have to design all this extra stuff. But in the connected world, the Ďfor more informationí button became, from the most difficult button to define, to the easiest button to define. And that goes to show that the paradigm shift that can happen. Things that were very hard in the past suddenly became very, very easy if you had the right technology.
Scattered through this talk [WBI slide again] will be a number of URLs. If you want WBI itís free, you can download it from Appleworks or from various websites, but you can also download it from a number of various applications for WBI as well. [Slide problems] oh, here we go.
You can think of WBI as a kind of smart pipe [New Slide] that information is flowing through. And that smart pipe can monitor the information going through it, it can edit it, it can generate it, it can modify that flow. And remember, the flow of information on the web is going both ways; itís not just going down from the server, itís also going up as users fill out forms and so forth. [New Slide] Well, what can you do with a smart pipe? Well, one of the biggest applications that IBM envisions is transcoding. As we have more and more pervasive devices that have smaller screens, black and white screens, you want to take information and run it through transcoders. Transcoders can take color images and turn them into grayscale images. If youíve heard about, for example, Yahoo Anywhere, you want Yahoo on your cell phone. Transcoding is the technical term we to that translation of the information for a different pervasive form factor device. Thereís a lot of other things you can do though, you can translate the content into a different language. One of the things you can do is make it more accessible, you can run it through text-to-speech systems. Thereís just lots of information thatís flowing around. And one of the things that I do as a hobby now [New Slide] is I listen to these radio stations that are constantly advertising dot com companies. I donít know if thatís just the rest of the world as well; it probably is Ė but here in the silicon valley you get all sorts of advertisements: dot-com this and dot-com this. If youíre not converting from bricks to clicks, youíre going to be extinct. So anyway, I hear about a lot of companies, and more and more of the companies that I keep hearing about are what I call intermediary-based companies. What do I mean by that? Theyíre adding value to somebody elseís stuff. And itís very interesting if you look at Novell has Ďdigitalme,í thereís also ECode, thereís even an article in the paper recently about what are called infomediaries; theyíre just simple things thatíll fill out the forms for you. So if you go to Amazon, and you donít want to have to fill out the form every time, you go to another website and you donít want to have to fill that out, and enter your credit card information number over and over again, thatís what an infomediary will do for you. Another example of a kind of infomediary application is print.org. These are interesting intermediary applications because they change the control point a little bit. Someone puts up a website, theyíre in charge of the content of the website. But what if someone has a comment? I agree/disagree? These are the sorts of capabilities that print.org or Thirdvoice can do. Intermediaries are that kind of thing. Because if you think about having a programmable proxy server, what the proxy server can do is get the request to go to the webpage, goes out and gets the webpage, but it can also go to another source of information, combine it with that information, and show you what somebody else wanted to say about that information. Guru.net is a great one. Every single word is hyperlinked. We termed this Ďadvisorsí and if you go to our WBI webpage, thereís a medical advisor, so if youíre looking at a medical page and thereís a medical term, we take you to one of the best online medical dictionaries on the web to see what the definition of that word is. There are also a lot of companies springing up online like, AreYouSure Ė And this is the comparison-shopping. And remember, this company didnít have to build ebay or amazon.com. What it had to do is say, because these exist out here and because I can imagine someone wanting to do this thing, and I, the intermediary, can do it. So if you really want to think about it, itís sort of like the middleman. I remember in the early stages of the evolution of the web, there was a lot of talk about the middleman goes away. No! The stupid middleman goes away. The ones who donít add any value go away. Thereís always a way to add value to somebody elseís stuff! So it becomes one of these Ė what I call Ė Ďenabling technologies.í If you have these technologies, thereís just so much more value that you can bring into other peopleís work. I could go on and on, but in the interest of time Iíll go on.
[New Slide] This is for some of the developers and programmers in the group. This is the architecture [of WBI]. The interesting thing that weíre thinking about is http for the web is just one protocol for web information flow. Thereís all sorts of protocols, you have your WAP protocols, ftp protocols, thereís even protocols for your television sets, you know, the signals and information for your television. This intermediary architecture notion is very general. How many of you know about tivo? Just about everybody of course. Tivo is an intermediary play. Maybe itís just that Iíve got a hammer and everything else looks like a nail, but itís really an intermediary play and what the intermediary value is storage. So what you do is youíre watching a TV show but Tivo stores up the programs; you can pause real-time television Ė thatís the sort of stuff you can do. This is, in Dougís terminology, one of those important infrastructure technologies. This is one of those capability infrastructure pieces that are coming into the world now. Weíre making this technology freely available to the world as we can at Alphaworks, weíve got a lot of requests to make this more open and thatís one of the reasons why weíre here; weíd like to hear from other people who are interested in working with us to create a more open story. It looks like that was my last slide, so back to Doug. But just one more thing before I go away, if anyone disagrees with the fact that books go away by 2010, the thing that I said Ė I canít remember if I said it to this group Ė was whenís the last time you touched an LP record?
SOMEONE: I do.
SPOHRER: Aha! So there will still be people that still touch books in 2010 but most of us wonít. Most of us here havenít done so in 5 or 10 years. Weíve got them sitting out therein boxes in our garage or weíve gotten rid of them. Yes. Question.
SOMEONE: A lot of the software that is out there is freely available but is not open source, isnít it?
No, and I donít want to mislead anybody about this. Weíve got a lot of requests about if somebody says, I want an open source intermediary, I can give you pointers where there are open source intermediary codes. The technology that we have now is not open source. Weíve got a lot of requests from a lot of groups that would like to work with us on this possibility. And just so you know IBMís policy on the matter, we donít make things open source until a lot of customers have adopted the technology and theyíve said it would be beneficial for it to be open source. So we want serious people who are willing to adopt the technology as it is today, and start working with it so it will show some credibility to their request, not just somebody saying, "gee it would be good to make it open source" and then we make it open source and they walk the other way and donít do anything with it. So thatís what weíre trying to do: find credible partners that will work with us to really ensure that if itís made open source it evolves and thereís the right structures there and I canít guarantee that; I can only speak about what the technology is and the process that we go to reach that. Yes. Question?
PARTICIPANT: if books go away by 2010, do you think that the replacements will be covered by shrink-wrapped licenses and if so, do you think that therefore all copyright protections like fair use and first year will also go away by 2010?
Thatís a very great question. This is really a co evolution question, to relate it back to Dougís discussion. This is where technology can evolve to take us some places but we really need laws to get us there. Iím not going to predict how the laws are going to evolve because itís hard to do that because business models change. And it could be business models that change; weíre seeing this with the mp3 stuff right now and itís really hard to predict. So what Iím trying to say is that thereís going to be a way for books to go away and itís going to make a lot of people billions and billions of dollars. And how that involves in terms of laws and technology, I could speculate but donít want to speculate right here.
SAME PARTICIPANT: The direction of the laws is to do away with fair use and first sale; thatís the direction weíre moving.
PARTICIPANT: Jim there is a company thatís doing a lot of work in this area right now that has been very successful. Itís called iCopyright, and I donít know if youíve seen it. ICopyright.com
SPOHRER: Yes. Al?
PARTICIPANT (muffled): Yes, I was just wondering. Does IBM community allow you to download from an Appleworks site? [canít really make out]
SPOHRER: Did I say that? Alphaworks, I meant. Sorry. Very good Adam. My son follows me around and corrects my mistakes. [laughter] Ok, with that Iíll turn it over to Doug. Thank you all. [applause]
ENGLEBART: Ökind of things in fair usage Iíd like to stick a tune in too well. With more people here and get some dialogue going in the end. This is great.
Hereís one use for WBI. So just in general, the interactions. [New Slide] This is the human and browser client that we talked about, the general intermediary Ė thatís WBI Ė and an ordinary web server. So your client sends message 1 to the intermediary. Suppose that is what you think is an ordinary URL, says I want something. So it says okay, I know where to go and it gets there and what gets back is an ordinary HTML code for a page or something. So you could get this thing conditioned so it could transcode that so what you see is something else; that you invent some new kinds of things to add to this url that would say what kind of view I want, just the way ours does. So it would generate that and come back and give you a view like that. So it would give you one line Ė there are other kinds of optional views and etc Ė so we could start right out exploring and getting peopleís use. So if other people came to this site and they found something and the you could follow a link, if we could get a switch so that when they go off look at something and we cite them here, then they would get delivered the other view too. A community that started this could start doing that with optional views. This could go even further, itís like saying this could be a non-HTML file server, so what comes back here is HTML so you can again get the link conventions youíre going to use here privately so it comes here, goes back, and calls in some transcoding relationship here. For instance, it would be really fun to say, these are augment files that no one else can read and it comes back here and shows them the structure with all the tag letters and numbers so that becomes something so that when this thing gets a link and says go to that thing and this is the address that I want you to go inside, the address actually isnít there in that original web server but itís there because the interpretation; youíve trained this particular way for WBI to do the work and then come back. So it could just open up a whole bunch of OHS stuff that weíre trying to do. So then you can even go to a CAD system Ė this is the sort of thing we were trying to talk to McDonnell Douglass Ė boy! That would be terrific. You have documentation here that talks about different things about design. Click on a link and you get back a particular extract from the cad system including specifications, if you wish. And they can be in the form of links, too, and you can go and see the actual formal specifications that that thing is being built to. Andrew?
ANDREW: This is only an example the marker calls in an operating system uses a technique that instead of giving you back one link, gives you back a number of links that you have norpalopol links that not a part of the existing web. But I guess itís a part of the major process where it says (?) all of the colors you can do that. [nods his head in intense, incomprehensible satisfaction]
ENGLEBART: Great. And there was another thing that we could do in Augment that was very valuable, and that was indirect linking, which we mentioned before. If thereís a link up in server A and itís pointing to a certain reference, I want to go to where that link is pointing. So this thing goes there, gets this thing, comes back, goes here and comes back and gives it to me formulated. [New Slide] So there are many things that are not in the current environment in what you could do with web stuff that you can start experimenting with. What you would need to do is get the conventions for what WBI can do about it and get the conventions for how you put the request in here. And thatís just the sort of thing that the standards like XML, and so forth, are interested in. So to get a body of users to start saying, letís get a coherent application area here going and experimenting with this and the evolution with it I think Ė would that be nice to have or would it be scary? [laughter] There are other things. Tanya is going to come up next and talk about the Crick system thatís being experimented. This is a way to start harnessing back links; and thatís been since the 70ís. We could never get the resources to start do it at a time like that but if you have in a database a way to collect whoís pointing to whom and what kind of typing theyíre putting on, where do their links go, etc, then that database could answer for you, Iím looking at this document at this certain place, whoís pointing at it, Iím on a certain subset of the population with what classes of typing on the links that point to it and I want to see them. And if a certain type has a comment on it, then Iíd like to show that in a given window. So thatís the sort of thing that you could agree on with WBI, and another thing would be databases being stored in it. So these are things that might want to be explored and I just think that would add a huge amount of value in the world. Thatís the kind of push for OHS that Iím interested in person Ė also the idea that you could get smart agents working for you. What a nice place to introduce them and get them to start working for you; and thatís the kind of thing that weíre going to ask Adam Cheyer to come, because heís been working in that for a long time, and talk to you. Next we have Tanya Jones, yes, it is an exotic name. That named scared me for a while until I found out sheís just a nice girl. Donít change the spelling. Sheís the staff member at Foresight, and she says she has an official title there. The Foresight Institute is the pioneering one pushing nano technology; itís just great to have you here, so Tanya Jones, youíre on the air.
TANYA JONES: As Doug mentioned, Iím with the Foresight Institute and our primary focus has been the development of nano technology and encouraging the development of nano technology. [New Slide] But nano technology is just one type of technology and Foresightís goal is more specifically encouraging the development of many technologies and our ability to deal with them because, as anyone knows, the pace of development is accelerating and unless we discover new ways to deal with it, weíre going to be left behind. With our web enhancement project, our key goal was to enable key aspects of Dougís Ted Nelsonís, Erik Drexlerís hypertext vision, the Xanadu vision. Specifically we were trying to address the knowledge sharing elements and to provide the annotation of documents; more specifically, the annotation of other peopleís documents. Now this is very similar to what Thirdvoice has recently been in the news for: having developed first Ė well actually this is inaccurate. Foresight developed this first and because of our long-term strategy of using this as a critical discussion tool, in the classical sense. WE are not there to try Ė yes?
SOME GENTLEMAN: Ka Ping LEE developed the first of the annotation systems. Was he working for Foresight at the time?
JONES: Yes, he is. He is the person who wrote the current link software and weíll get to that. Heís out of town.
SAME GENTLEMAN: But when he developed it, was he working for Foresight?
SAME GENTLEMAN: oh.
JONES: Okay, weíll move right alongÖ TO that! [New Slide] The CritSuite implementation is actually in three parts, all open source so you can download them, but not today, because for some strange reason, the Crit site is down. I know, this is great timing. The aspects are CritLink, which is bi-directional linking software. Itís a modified proxy server whereby if you enter a url and simply append crit.org to the front of the url, it will go to our mediator and retrieve the documents your searching for and check its database to see if anyone has made any comments and associated them with this document. And you will receive a view whereby all of the comments that are on the page are displayed as little tiny triangles. And those triangles have meaning. They do! Itís good! Another part is the CritMap, which is a graphical navigation tool, which shows the forward and back links of a target document and actually allows you to navigate along the links as your interest allows. The third part is CritMail, which converts your email archive into web documents. We found this to be a really useful part of the system simply because so much email was being generated by the discussions associated with the project that having hem accessible through some web system was much more easy. This aspect works in all browsers; no downloads required, but the CritMap software is actually a java applet that you must download the first time. In the course of the development we had to identify what were the usual types of comments on a document. [New Slide] We found four of them: you could comment or query on a document or you support a document or had issues with it. And we used different color codings to allow quick and easy visual confirmation of what type of comment was associated with a document. This is part of the interactive view process and what I mean by Ďfine and coarse-grained anchorsí I mean that you can have Ė most anchors, says a URL, is a link to an entire document and with Crit, you can take that word or paragraph and link to that part of the document directly. Now if I go in and make a comment on the document that is as simple as just pointing out a spelling error, if that spelling error is revised and fixed, my comment is not erased; it just moves to the bottom of the view so that you can see that at some point a spelling error was fixed, but since the spelling error no longer exists in that document, then thereís no place to link to in the main body of the text. So by delete-disabled we meant no one could delete anything unless Ė and this is the catch Ė the individual goes and actually changes the URL of that document. Private or public server basically means that you can set this up behind a firewall for your internal operations or you could go through Critís public system and set up a private server of your own and allow people access to it. [New Slide] So this is hard to read, but is actually a view. Foresight was using the Crit software to initiate discussions on what we considered to be interesting topics. This is an example of openness and privacy discussion that we were holding based on David Byrneís recent book, The Transparent Society. Now David gave us permission to put up the first couple of chapters of the book on the web and allow people to discuss it. What this shows is, on the left side, all the pages linking to the homepage of that and on the right, the links that were linked from the homepage discussion. And this is just a little harder to see. [New Slide] This shows some of the comments on the first chapter and if you look very closely, you can see the color coordination of the link types. But this is a much more realistic view of what webpages look like when you consider all of the links. [New Slide] this is a mockup that terry Stanley did to show a computer security section. And this actually better illustrates some of the elements that are associated with the software. This is our Focus document. You have the title; you have the author; you also have the information on the author linking down here, to the right, from this document; you have the date it was entered into the Crit system and this is the key point: any page can be viewed using this mediator but you have to visit it first. You have to visit it the first time to enter it into the database. And the last thing here is the URL. Now if this was live, I would be able to actually look at this and read the little bit of information about the documents that is coming from that site and then go to them in the web browser. CritMail, is the third aspect of this system. The advantages to this were ASCII to HTML conversion, as with the CritLink system, you could actually have fine-grained links from your quoted text. We found it to be an improvement over conventional mail where you could see the threaded replies. Thereís also a monitoring system set up where you could choose to be notified when someone makes a comment on your document, or a comment is made on your comment and so on. Now this was all very experimental and there were several aspects of success to this. We did create the software; we did create the navigational tool. [New Slide] the user interface was fairly unambiguous after we went through several iterations of this because we kept getting complaints that, well, this wasnít very clear in this way. And we went back and revised it a couple times so that the final version of it was actually pretty intuitive. It was the first implementation of the back link technology that was envisioned and weíve used it in several places: the nano policy stuff that youíve heard Neil Jacobstein speak about last week. We had a conference, we took some notes, Neil wrote a document, he drafted the document, and the entire team used the Crit software to mark up those documents until we had a draft that everyone would agree on; and then we published it and submitted it to comments by the rest of the community. A few years back, Scientific American did an article in the April 1996 issue on nano technology. And fortunately, the crit software came very handy in this because Scientific American didnít have a very futurist Ė they had a very inappropriate view that they presented that a lot of people objected to, even a lot of people from Foresight that were quoted in the article. So we decided to apply Crit to this and marked it all up. And this actually engaged our community in a great way to determine some of the points of nano technology that people agreed on and disagreed on. And the interesting thing about this is that I went looking for this morning. If you go to the Scientific American website, in this age of the new National Nano technology Initiative you will find that if you do a search on nano technology, you will find that there is no article. They actually because of this debate, I assume, they removed this article from their website and now you can find absolutely no information on nano technology at all. [laughter]. Actually, weíre going to circulate that because I just discovered this Ė very exciting!
This is just a little graphic that we developed that you can put on your website, once our website is up and running again, where you just click the button and it appends the crit.org to your url and it automatically goes and fetches the document. So this has been a very good learning experience for our community and we intend to use this experience to develop our next set of social software, hopefully in collaboration with Doug. This is something weíre very committed to work on because as technology improves, we must improve. Any questions?
GLEN: When you have this specific topic, and I can see that this is absolutely excellent to you as it is right now. You do have something to learn from the UN after all. I can see this is very excellent to use as it is on some various topics and so forth, what about Ė and as you were going through it I said, God, what if we used this on ours, we have stuff going across such a broad range through so many different people, and so many different languages, so many different languages, that in a few days Iíd have one whopper of spaghetti. What do you suggest?
JONES: Well, we have discovered that using this for single projects is much more effective. Single documents. We have found like on the Scientific American Ė half a dozen people make comments on the same paragraph, the triangles extend across the screen, it becomes quite cumbersome to find the exact thing that your looking for. So thatís an important thing to take away from this that it does work in a limited Ė it does work well in a limited set of situations. Yes?
FREDERICK CLEGG: You described a situation where you and your colleagues talked about a draft that one had already written and marked it up and finally got it to something that you all liked and published that. So that discussion converged basically. We had it suggested here that in other scenarios, the dialogue would likely diverge. Do you have any idea what the convergence criteria might be for a system using something like this?
JONES: Well, I can see many situations where it would be impossible to reach consensus and in a case like that this would be a tool for providing arguments, supporting issues and issues of disagreement, but if enough information in the world is not going to change someoneís mind, this tool is not going to help.
GLEN: But it can clarify the confusion. My comment before: you may not know the truth but youíd better be darn clear about the confusion, and thatís useful.
JONES: That is useful information. Okay, thank you. [applause].
ENGLEBART at podium: I bet she fooled you too. [laughter] OK. So this is beginning to get some dynamics that I really like because what weíre talking about is how to get a dynamic repository that starts to collect these kinds of things and then starts integrating to be better at collecting these kinds of things Ė thatís the bootstrapping, see. And then from all this you can say, hey Jerry Glen, you can get a better and better picture of whatís available for you to choose for what youíre going to do. And not that weíre trying to say that thatís what you should do, but give you a chance to make a decision. Anyway, just a brief thing to acknowledge that the WWW Consortium and the XML activity is a very important one and weíre really lucky to have John Bozak here with us, so this is our salute to you, John [salutes] for coming. The next one is saying, Iím just going to introduce you to the world right here because heís going to sit there and be part of our panel discussion later and you ought to know whom it is. We didnít plaster him with the job of making a presentation. He couldnít, but anyway, heís been the XML architect at Sun Microsystems and I gather he started the whole XML movement and is the current leader of the working group of the WWW Consortium on this. So he gave me these URLs here that will be available on the slides so that people can look at them. And someday these things will be able to go out there and theyíll be some sort of clickable HTML sort of things first which weíd be able to recognize like that. [New Slide] So just whatís publicly visible at the WWW Consortium draft recommendations and the best site for XML information happens to be at the oasis group, so thatís good to know. [www.oasis-open.org/cover/] so thatís all for you to follow. [New Slide]
Anyway, in the environment of OHS weíre know that weíre going to start learning how to integrate smart AI modules we call agents. And people were telling me in the Ď60s that I shouldnít be letting things be so hard that the computers were going to get so smart that it would be able to figure out what you knew and you would be able to interface with it at your level. So I said, oh, thatís great, but meanwhile the picture that I have about it is that people and the smart agents are like a team. If theyíre trying to work towards supporting what the human needs, then the humans have got to learn things about how best to harness this team. So they can be very smart aliens and etc and theyíre just panting to learn to try to do what you want them to do, but how do you direct them, herd them, keep them, and shape them and stuff like that. So I donít see them as removing work from us. Itís more of a challenge in fact, than the kind of things where we can start really refining what we do. But theyíre sitting there as an interface, sort of, support for you; itís a very rich thing. I actually think that it will call for new levels of sophistication in how we humans think and work. I really keep rejecting this idea of automating things. So anyway, the challenge is really harnessing things effectively, and we are really lucky to have this guy named Adam Cheyer, who is currently the Director of Research at VerticalNet in Palo Alto, [New Slide] and who previously was, for many years, a researcher in SRIís Artificial Intelligence Center. And one of the things he innovated was quite notable: this "Open Agent Architecture," which is getting a lot of acclaim in areas of people who understand it better than I do, so I wonít go into that. But I like him anyway. So Adam Cheyer is going to come and tell you something about open agents and OHS.
ADAM CHEYER at podium: Thank you. Iíve been at sri previously and have been following Dougís work for a while. I wanted today to say a few words about agents, and say a few words about my experience, also bring something to the party. So today we can download WBI and print and other things, so Iíll try to include one piece for people to look at. And then what Iím going to try to do is to suggest, after talking about a lot of future stuff that we could do, try to start a discussion on what I think we should to today to move a step forward. So what could we do to start creating an open source OHS system? And itíll be my perspective and controversial, perhaps, but weíll take it from there. [aside] So, oh. You forgot to tell me about that problem. So it looks like that slide Ė what I wanted to do was say that the word Ďagentí actually means many different things to many people and when you go to an agent conference these days you have to ask, "what do you mean by agents" and find out what theyíre saying. So I had this great picture with lots of examples of different types of things people are calling agents, so I guess Iíll run through them verbally and hopefully weíll update the website and people can go back and look at that later.
ENGLEBART [offstage]: Something happened to the server at 6:30 this morning and his text disappeared and Iím not smart enough to know what to do about it.
[Some techies give suggestions to fix the problem but it doesnít work]
CHEYER: Okay, but anyway I can describe what Iím talking about. So as I can clearly see, there are many types of agents. Here are some of the properties that people are talking about with agents. Some people say that agents are mobile pieces of code that move under their own power from place to place. So this is really about mobility. Examples of such applications areÖ General Magic I guess, was one of the pioneers and holds the patent for this type of mobile code, but things like Telescript from General Magic, DAgents in the research community, and a number of others are focusing on how do you move code from place to place and what efficiencies do you get? Other types of agents are called autonomous agents that have to react and deal with unexpected occurrences such as slides disappearing in the middle of a presentation and these are typically based on reactive planning technologies. You see incarnations in physical robots. So this is a whole community of agent researchers who are totally different from some of the other agent researchers weíll describe later. Some people, for instance, from MIT Ė Patty Maas Ė has focused on learning in agents and has trying to share opinions or trying to have collaborative filtering, sharing opinions, and thatís what they target as agent systems. Some particular groups such as Microsoft consider agents to be visible and interactive and perhaps dialogue with natural language so, for instance, Microsoft Agent is a graphical animated character such as youíll find in their office products that can take a more human appearance. And finally down at the bottom of our picture. This will get to the kind of work that weíve been looking into and that would be communities of agents, or distributed agents. And the idea is that todayís distributed object systems are very often brittle. Can we actually have a dynamic, changing, heterogeneous, distributed, cooperation and competition going on but with computational elements? So how does this relate at all to Dougís Open Hyperdocument System? I want to bring up the point that today weíve been talking a lot about, or, in the past weíve been talking a lot about document management: a community needs to publish documents and information. But we should also think about how could we manage services, so it could be any computational element. So I donít know, it could be a compile button or a summarizing program or a great artificial intelligence or a non-artificial intelligence programs. How can we bring in services into what weíre building for this state? [New Slide] What Iíd like to bring to the table would be that someday maybe contribute is something called Open Agent Architecture. What weíve been looking at is how are we going to create distributed applications or systems which are composed of a number of processes that are cooperating and competing and can come and go and work together in a more dynamic way. Iím not going to talk a lot about this but the term weíve been using is delegated computing. The idea is, if you have Ė typically in distributed object technology today, like Genie or CORBA or messaging systems, one object, a client, needs a service from another object, the provider, and thereís code in the client to be able to find the object and call it, and thatís very inflexible. If now you have hard coded logic in the control of the client for how itís going to interact with others, and with delegated computing, the key idea is: can I describe a task that can be at arbitrary levels of detail? If I wanted to know exactly how itís done, I can say that. If I donít care then here, I want to do this, you agents will work on this task together, and clearly you can see how humans can become part of the loop. Anyway um, weíve had over the years built some 40+ applications and have built lots of technology, some AI and some not into some agents that could communicate and dialogue. Papers on this and software can be downloaded in near open-source, not true open source, from openagent.com, which is just an easy reference to SRIís pages on this matter.
Through this infrastructure, what we were trying to do is as Doug said, we donít want to have the AI programs just solve all problems we were looking at how to build distributed flexible systems and how do humans interact if you have this distributed, delegated, wonderful blob of computational power? [New Slide] How will humans interact with it? On the left side of this slide you see some of the dimensions weíre working at. We want to be able to access our information and services from anywhere. If I have a telephone, I want to be able to speak to it and pull up things from my desktop or other websites. If we have a desktop machine, I can visually see the answers. If I have both, then how do I manage the combination of speaking and using the available resources? This is an example of something that would be very hard to do if you had to code every possibility. Delegated computing simplifies this task. Another dimension would be multimodal interfaces. What does this mean? When Iím talking with you, Iíll be pointing and circling and gesturing and speaking and writing all together; itís a great way for humans to talk to humans. What we were looking was how do we delegate the task among a community of agents. Another dimension that we were looking at is in such an architecture if a human can talk to all the agents and the agents are cooperating and communicating with each other, it would be great if multiple humans could come together in the same place, work on problems where some automated systems are doing some work, some humans are doing some work Ė and we have several applications looking at that. Next to mention we looked at Avatar. This was the Microsoft agent idea. Some systems today, the humans are always in control: do this, get this, this is what I want. Well, if you introduce more social elements into computing, some avatars or agents might give suggestions or watch what your doing and give criticisms and help you dialogue or answer questions and take you on tours, explain things for you. So the social dynamic, especially when multiple people are working together, agents have to obey some of the social conventions Ė how does that work and where do the problems arise from that? Finally, some of our latest applications weíre looking at: augmented environments. This means my place in this giant community world, my physical location have an impact with what Iím dialoguing with. So if Iím walking down a hall, information should be appearing contextually according to what Iím doing at that moment and where I am and who I am. Again, a very hardcoded approach would be very difficult to take and delegated computing was a way of studying sort of a continuum of how people and agents could work together on a space and some of the readings and the software we have can be downloaded, and maybe we can in the future pull this into our communities of knowledge and services. [New Slide] So finally Iím going to take Ė Iíve been sort of watching Doug and Dougís group for about a year and a half and we all agree we want to create something; software that takes some of these wonderful ideas, modernizes them with the appropriate standards. The problem is that there is so much to do and so many different ways to do it, itís hard to get enough consensus to move forward. This is an issue. What I wanted to do was put forward Ė this is my particular take and Doug gave me permission to speak and say this, but are there ways, which we can agree on? Can we find something that we agree on that we donít have to do massive amounts of coding but we can at least move in the right direction? And it may not solve all problems but maybe we can come to a consensus on those. So the first thing is when I first heard about the Open Hyperdocument System was I said, great, tell me what it is and Iíll code it up in a weekend, how hard could it be? [laughter] The more I learned about it, I said, oh, this is boring, and every time I made a proposal, well, what about this aspect? So my idea is that we need to have a target and for me, it has to be different enough than what we can do today and it is always a very tricky thing to do because pieces exist. I want to have an Augment-like system that can manage four types of documents: email, so sort of like hypermail, existing web pages, Augment files, and source code. Source code so we can continue work in it. And I want to have a web browser where if we have these four things, and we have hyperlinks to the specifications, which have discussions and annotations to what we should do next, and so already those four things might be enough to get us going. And the actual capabilities Ė so this is not the actual full-blown OHS Ė but I want publishing Ė we want to be able to publish back to the server somehow Ė version control would be great, especially if weíre going to do source code. We need to have the adaptable views Ė being able to see things in different ways Ė because that I think is really key to what Iíve seen; one of the key elements in Dougís works, and we need to be able to have an editor to be able to publish it back in. So I was trying to look at all the ways we could accomplish these things. The first thing I said was XML, the documents we manage Ė I feel strongly about it Ė XML is the way to go. Now there might be some argument about it, but I feel that this is going to be the future of the web. Itís structured, thereís not that many choices Ė can we all agree on that, weíll take this offline, but Iím going to put that forth. To do that that means thereís some tasks involved. To get those documents that means weíre going to need some sort of translators in some form that we can store things in them in some form of XML-like content. So how do we get from source code to XML for some language that weíre developing, you know, or languages? Also we need some translators for Dougís work, you know, the Augment files; itís got all the right properties: we need to define a schema that would meet these minimal criteria, right translators, and we can get a body of documents that we can work with.
Step 2 is publishing. So I looked around; how do you publish documents on the web? Iíd seen thereís http where thereís a put command but the best standard, which is from the ITEF effort, is something called WebDav, and I havenít seen much discussion on this yet, but it stands for Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning. So Iím like, whoa, that sounds like what we need and from what Iíve seen, itís not completely finished. The versioning, for instance, hasnít been truly linked in but itís much better than httpís put, which is the only other real good way for publishing things. So the next hard stance will be, letís use WebDAv for the method of publishing. Letís encourage and work with them to head it in directions that we want, but there are a lot of products already on the server side. There was something somebody mentioned called ZOPE? Which was an application server written in Python? I donít know how this might go because Python isnít as widely accessible. I want to use WebDav, we might go with ZOPE, and apache already has a WebDav publishing module that might be even easier. None of these integrate with CVS and version control but weíll find a way to add them in later. The next step is views; how do we do dynamic views? Doug already showed this by using proxies. Originally I was thinking we should build our entire client editor browser from scratch or use Netscape and I was looking at this but my standpoint now Ė itsí debatable Ė is that we should just use existing browsers now for the first try, use proxies to translate into XML for the different views. What proxy to use? WBI is a great one; another way of doing the same kind of thing would be to use something like servlets. An XSL is a w3c recommendation for how to translate XML documents into something. Well, thatís what we need. And so John Bozak might be able to help. So one question might be: is there some sort of WBI/XML integration? There is? Oh, excellent, weíve just solved our problem so maybe WBI/XSL is the consensus weíll arrive at. The next step would be editor because there needs to be some way to publish this through WebDav. Now again, we could Ė in Dougís model and world, it is an integrated editor/browser Ė so my recommendation at the moment after thinking about it in various ways is that Iím going to take Caveat and I see some questions, but let me just finish and weíll open the dialogue. But at the moment I want any browser or a modern browser, more or less, to be involved so what I was going to suggest was letís let views be in any browser and when weíre ready to edit, weíll submit somehow at the same way we request our views Ė and we can talk about how to do that afterwards Ė up to our proxy. Weíll say, weíre ready to edit my document and some window will appear, some java-based XML editor that is enabled with WebDav. So there are open-sourced java based XML editors, thereís freely available java connectors to WebDav. Itís an accommodation but it should allow anyone to quickly be able to take a document that weíre controlling and then publish it back using WebDav. And the final bullet that I thought: if weíre going to do source code, for instance, then weíre going to need a way of sticking actions of a certain type, associating actions with a document type. So if I have a source code, I want to have a compile button somewhere; if I have a make file then Iíd want a make command somehow; for a regular document Iíd like to spell check it or somehow bring in some other sources of information through proxies. Iím not quite sure exactly how to solve this problem but I donít think it can be that hard. So a way of specifying how actions can be brought into this mix and associated with documents; thatís kind of a poor manís Open Hyperdocument System that moves in the directions Ė Iím taking a hard stance on a few things: proxies, any browser, WebDav Ė there are pointers that we have to argue on, but you know, thatís just whatís there.
ENGLEBART: Thereís 14 minutes or so of airtime; so we can have some dialogue that we can share with the world and we can go beyond that a little bit too. One of the things that Iíd like to get as soon as we can is if anything can aim at John Bozak about XML, just give him a chance. Do you want to say anything at the start?
JOHN BOZAK: Yeah, I do. Iím supposed to be alive for this thing Ė Iím told I am alive. Thatís good to know. You wouldnít know, really. [laughter] Iím really delighted to see a concrete proposal. One of the reasons Iím delighted is because the organizer promised me in a few weeks Iíd be able to propose something which, if it has any reality at all, which is still open to debate, would need this [OAA] to exist. So this is great; Iím real happy to see this and weíll get to that when we get to it. There are some aspects of this that work only because of the very careful way things have been narrowed down. For example: "Create schemas and translators" is like a black hole, unless youíve restricted it to just the four things youíve listed Ė that works Ė you can actually do that. I think that the capabilities are well done and I think that most of the hardcore choices are actually the right choices. I donít know enough about WebDav to be able to endorse that. [But] I do know of nothing else in that space, so Iím hoping thatís the right thing. I do very much like the idea of doing something with Apache. I would push that hard. Those of you who have been following XML would know that Apache has just a huge wedge of XML code donated to it and a whole set of XML tools is being standardized under the Apache umbrella. IBM contributed a big chunk of it, Sun contributed some of it, Lotus contributed some of it, and there were some other contributors. So youíre getting a whole set of interoperable open source, publicly available XML tools and I think the suite of tools you talk about would fit very nicely into that. So the organization: I like the way youíre going. I love it. Thatís basically what I have to say about that. Now I should also say that I donít have a presentation on purpose. It wasnít that I failed to make one but I was told that we didnít want one this time. I would be happy if the organizers want to, sometime between now and the end of the series, to put together a presentation for you about XML and existing standards that will be helpful if we decide to go down this road and get into that. I mean, no problem. That is not a problem. I told Doug, give me a week and Iíll put together anything you want. I did post to the list a URL Ė which is slightly too long to read, it went out to the one list Ė of a 4-hour tutorial on this subject I gave last June from the University of California, if I could say that here. [laughter] it wasnít Berkeley; it was SC, so itís all cool Ė very cool! So I put that on the list and as I said we could do that, and beyond that I probably shouldnít say anything or else Iíll start talking an hour and a half on this subject. But Iíll be glad to answer questions if there are any at that.
ENGLEBART: So letís have some open dialogue; itís you and you.
RICHARD: Well, Doug mentions integrated editing and browsing. Do you mean when youíre browsing, you hit a button and then you get the XML source code? Or is that not sufficient; do you edit the same exact rendered view that you browse in?
RICHARD: How do you do that in XML? Youíve got XSL, for example that is designed to only go in one way.
CHEYER (seated): In this proposal my accommodation was the XML editor would be a separate sort of ugly tree thing, and I didnít find a good way to do it yet in the existing model and to do a truly integrated WYSIWYG editor/browser there are some out there. However, I think to do it in a fairly general way would be kind of hard. So this is a very general accommodation I took that would let any browser participate and then weíll just have to figure out how to merge them better.
ENGLEBART: Iíd say that we had a principle that whatever editing youíre allowed to do in any view was real and it made a change that the other views would recognize appropriately and etc. It seems to me that thatís the way humans need it.
ASIAN GUY: There is some excellent work being done at Georgia Tech on this by cohorts Alan Kay and Mark Guzdyle (sp?). Itís called a [swickie] and itís based on Squeak, which is the open source Smalltalk that spun out of Apple a few years back. And theyíve been doing a lot of experiments, not only about what the interface should be like, but also what are the social consequences of anybody being able to modify anything when you are browsing it. Itís very interesting work.
BOZAK: Yeah, there are two critical aspects to make the editing work here. Editors are a bitch. Itís just true. And the whole process of editing is a nightmare, regardless of XML. But the thing that makes this work is that weíre not talking about generic, unlimited numbers of document types, weíre talking about the 4 that are listed. So what weíre really talking about is four different editors, one for stuff thatís stored as email, one for stuff thatís stored as HTML, one for stuff thatís stored as Augment, and one for stuff thatís stored as source code. This is believable. If you get into a generic editor, there are only two companies in the entire world that are making generic commercial XML editors and they charge you $500 to $1000 a seat, and quite rightly. So your question is well taken; itís a hard problem generically. We can do it with these four by having XSL style sheets that work with at least one companyís existing browser, sort of, well enough to make the concept to work. The really hard part that I can think of as long as we stick to just these four document types is the version control. And the check in and checkout. Thatís going to be difficult.
RICHARD: There are selectable views. I think that Doug considers it essential that you have multiple views and have found a number of different ways to view the same document. Is that correct? And that seems to be the big thing that you canít have that and editing at the same time. Thatís the hardest thing to get.
BOZAK: Uh, you can have that and editing at the same time, but I donít think that youíd want to. The other aspect of this was wysiwyg. wysiwyg is a strange concept, and if you examine it carefully it tends to fall apart and get away from you like a cloud of butterflies. I donít want to make WYSIWYGishness a hard requirement if only because we could we spend the next six months trying to define by what we mean by it. However, being able to do a reasonable job of editing content Ė there is a concept called WYSIWYN, which is "What You See Is What You Need." In other words, itís close enough to be making the visual distinctions that youíre relying on to get a kind of implied logical structure which is what people usually mean when they say, "I want WYSIWYG." You can get that without getting into fine detail into typography.
ENGLEBART: Letís give Andrew a chance Ė heís got to go back to Australia afterwards.
ANDREW: Yeah, Iíve got a short point Iím answering and one long point Ė Iíll answer the short one first. The Web Consortiumís official test bed for this stuff is at Meyer. Which, Iím amazed, no one has mentioned because it is, in fact, an integrated browser/editor which already does HTML and has very rapidly had a lot of XML support added.
SOMEONE WITH A DEEP VOICE: And is open source.
ANDREW: And is open source, exactly. The long point was that this is, I think, a great venue, this colloquium, and I really hope that we have more of this kind of thing because hopefully weíll get more cross-pollination because I have attended and tried in my role with Ted on the Xanadu Project. Iíve attended ITF working groups, Iíve been a member of the WebDav group, the hypermedia conferences and the hypertext conference series, Foresight Institute with Ping on the quick stuff; Iím a member of the Amaia project and Iím on a whole lot of mailing lists and across a whole lot of projects and working groups and Iím seeing a whole little wheel reinventing and almost everyone who is doing this stuff is not aware of the other projects. Thereís a lot of this stuff that Iíve seen done before that have been done by the other groups. Most of this kind of work has emerged since 1999, really, and there are groups in Europe, groups in England, groups in Austria, groups in Finland, groups in Japan, doing these kinds of things and thereís not enough cross-pollination. For example, OHS also stands for the Open Hypermedia System Working Group which is a series of meetings of both the hypertext conferences and also at web consortium and digital libraries conferences to try and provide an integrated common point of reference for all these sorts of projects so that they can talk to one another so that instead of people building each new project every time at their own little university and not being able to share any of the data, there can be hopefully one day be some way where we can be able to take all the good work thatís already been done by people building these kinds of projects and then kind of interconnect them.
ENGLEBART: Okay. So do we have any other new blood coming in or does our panel want to respond?
CHEYER: I just wanted to say one word. I am aware of Amaia, and its counterpart Jigsaw. I was looking at do we need to have a stand alone, separate integrated browser and editor. And looking at Amaia, it still seemed that in order to bring sort of Doug Viewing and to do these 4 goals, it still looked like there was a lot of work left to do. It seems to do math ml and HTML pretty well and itís on the right path but itís still pretty far so this proposal was that any browser could start to play and the editor/browser part will evolve later.
ANDREW: Yeah, let me refine my eloquent Ė Iím not suggesting that you should not do what youíre doing. Iím not suggesting that at all because as you rightly point out Amaia would perhaps be a quick solution to get something thatís already been written but ultimately youíd want to go beyond that, and thatís very positive. And I certainly think that any group that is aware of previous work in the fields and is extending it and has legitimate reasons to develop additional tools is terrific. But there are a lot of projects there where people have done earlier research and itís being, for example Ė user interfaces being designed to address some of these issues Ė and hardly anybody seems to track down any of these projects and obtain copies of the software and look at it and learn what can be learned from it and learn what can be integrated. That was really my point, not that you shouldnít be doing what you were doing. I think that, in fact, you are doing the right thing by allowing people with any browser to use it.
ENGLEBART: Thatís terrific Andrew, and we started out earlier talking about what we really knew. You have to start collecting information and assessing it about whatís the state of things Ė we call that the sea level work. And weíd really like to get a group going that can build a repository of that and etc. and be part of evolving through bootstrap. So Iím very pleased to hear about all of this and letís see. Weíre going off the air in about 5 seconds, so is there anything anybody particularly wanted to say on the air? Go ahead.
[Someone unintelligible unintelligibly says something unintelligible, which happens to draw applause from everyone.]
Thank you, Iím very Ė
SAME GUY: Oh, sorry, I wasnít on the mike. Happy birthday to Doug on Sunday!
ENGLEBART: Yeah, Iím going to be a grown up. [Laughter] okay.
SOMEONE: Perhaps it was me but I think I noticed an energy change as that list was being introduced to us and I think it got a lot of peopleís excitement up as well it should and I like the list. I think that for some set of requirements it is clearly the right list. What I found myself reacting to is not being sure what the requirements were. Now, the first goal says "capabilities" and one could say, well, the requirement would be to do those things. Now that may be sufficient for many situations, especially research environments, creating them and then maybe later worrying about how weíre going to use them is exactly the right approach. For a large, diffuse, loosely connected, unfunded kind of activity, very often defining the problem that you want to solve, in the killer app sense, where the end user isnít one of the geeks but is going to try to do some real work and would love to have whatever this is could do would be extremely helpful. So I would like to suggest Ė and I donít have a proposal for what exactly that should be Ė but except to propose that it should be something.
ENGLEBART: Thank you.
ERIC ARMSTRONG: Eric Armstrong. I have a requirements document on the online One list mailing server and hopefully we can start to modify that but there needs to be some things cut down from this proposal which would be great and would make it more feasible and more things added, but youíre absolutely right; requirements are the first step.
SOMEONE: I should clarify. The nature of this kind of thing is to say, "What can we do soon" and really walks a different tightrope, which is exactly the right kind of thing. And equally there is a different requirement on the requirement and that is: which of the requirements is interesting, useful, and near-term that we can achieve doing this.
ENGLEBART: Whatís your name to tell people?
DAVE CROCKER: Dave Crocker.
ENGLEBART: That sounds familiar. The Crocker family that was involved Ė how many years ago that it was that we met?
ENGLEBART: [chuckle] Yeah. Thank you, Dave.
CROCKER: I needed help to get a demo going for the first demonstration of the AARPANET and knew that the people at SRI were very friendly and that was the system I was using. And I found that there was only one name attached to the SRI system at that time and it was Doug. And I had never met him and I was not even a graduate student at that point. But I knew they were friendly people so I asked him for some help and he said, "Where are you?" And I said, "Well, Iím in Washington getting ready for a demo" and he said, "Where are you?" And it turns out he was about 20 feet away from me. [laughter]
ENGLEBART: Yeah, itís a small world and you must be almost getting to be a grown up too. [laughter] well, just because weíre off the air doesnít mean we need to stop. Thereís something about the staff here that they arenít chartered here to stay and keep this open forever but if you want to keep dialoguing, I think thatís just terrific. All I say is, when you do focus on something and get going, let me come along with you. [laughter] You know, for there they go. So are there any more things about this? Okay, Dick?
RICHARD KAZPINSKI: I wanted to say in particular that I heard in the last 20 minutes several of instances of commercial organizations contributing to a freely shared output, and I would like the people who are close to that to see if they could come up with any of the things that permitted that to happen. Permitted IBM and Sun and Cisco to contribute software and effort into a common thing.
ENGLEBART: Yes I agree with you and what strikes me is that Iíd like to get a record of the kind of things have been said here. Anyways, if anyone were taking any notes of this, this would be valuable. Assumedly, we dream at times of getting it all transcribed [Transcriberís note: <grin>] and interlinked or something.
[Someone mentions something about going out for burritos.]
Okay. [applause, and I guess everyone went out for burritos.]