Matt Jones

Through Caverns

I’ve been interested in the work of Ted Nelson ever since I watched Douglas Adams’ [seemingly forgotten about] documentary ‘Hyperland’ back in 1990. Ted Nelson coined the term ‘hypertext’ in the 1960s when he started Xanadu, a “project [which] foresaw world-wide hypertext decades ago, and endeavored to create a much deeper system”. It seems that Nelson is bitter about the success of the world wide web and it’s ‘one-way’ hypertext system and this is especially evident if you read his home page. I admire Nelson’s work, and the Xanadu model seems like a much more complete solution than hypertext as we know it… but where is Xanadu? After 40 years of development and the birth of the global network of computers, I thought we might have seen something by now, something we can download and try out for ourselves.Thanks to Stu at for emailing this link regarding Nelson’s current views on the WWW. I also found A Subjective Chronology of Literary Hypertext, which is also an interesting read.