Ted Nelson

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Ted Nelson was one of the pioneers of software engineering, taking the interests of users to heart with an unmatched passion, plenty of common sense and a keen focus on good design. His book Computer Lib is considered a classic in the field.

Nelson coined the term "hypertext", building on Vannevar Bush's original idea (see memex), and which led to Apple Computer's HyperCard. Internal links on a wiki owe a debt to Ted Nelson. But he disliked the one-way links of HTML and spent the bulk of his professional life on his proposed Xanadu system[1] to support non-sequential writing. The Xanadu system was first proposed 58 years ago, but a demo was not made until 1972, and Nelson couldn't get sufficient funding until he met John Walker, founder of Autodesk.


  1. "deep electronic documents-- with side-by-side intercomparison and frictionless re-use of copyrighted material." [1]