I'm still only beginning to get used to the 2000ish word column
format. There seems to be enough room for a shallow survey or
giving a good overview of a single idea, but it's quite a tricky
constraint. This piece came from the confluence of two ideas - the
Open Data community project (which gets a plug, naturally ;-)
and comparing today's web with the expectations for hypertext that
preceded it. I think I narrowly avoided
between two stools.
Coincidentally Li Ding at ebiquity referred to Xanadu a few days ago, pointing to a great slide set (PDF) on early hypertext. There are many aspects here I didn't go near, I was mostly leveraging off a line in the Wikipedia :
...all earlier hypertext systems were overshadowed by the success of the World Wide Web, even though it lacked many features of those earlier systems, such as typed links, transclusion, and source tracking.
While there are plenty of pieces not yet in place (e.g. distributed trust infrastructure), I believe the web has already demonstrated it can cover the foundations needed for these features in an architecturally sound form.@en