[unrev-II] A 'time enabled' hypertext system...

From: Jon Winters (winters@obscurasite.com)
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 21:48:44 PST

From: Jon Winters <winters@obscurasite.com>

Hello all,

I have an idea for your consideration. After viewing session 3 I got to
thinking about Nanotech and how it might be used by bootstrappers in the

One of the promises of Nanotechnology is seemingly unlimited digital


With this in mind we might want to consider moving to a "write once"
system of data storage. Every time you save a document a new
time-stamped copy is saved. Time is used to organize the life of the
document. Like us, the document evolves over time.

Today, when you edit sound, video, animation, or other forms of
multimedia you must use time to organize how the file is played. This
is also an excellent way to organize hypertext documents given enough
storage to archive everything.

I've prepared a mock-up screengrab of what a "time enabled" web browser
might look like.


Its loaded with the notes I took tonight during session 3. NOTE: at the
bottom of the image there is an extra slider and the time/date stamp.

In a time enabled system you could use the slider to traverse backwards
in time to view my notes as they were after session 2, or even session
1. Years in the future I could go back in time and find out exactly
when I converted the notes from text to html. (or added links, or
graphics, etc)

Version control is not new. The difference is the interface. Its
something that we understand... We are trained from the time we are
children to use time. Seems like a perfect fit for organizing versions
of documents. (easier to grasp than cryptic version numbers)

Today we are in a hurry to post all kinds of information on the web.
Often when surfing it seems like just as many documents are moving or

Imagine if everyone had unlimited storage and you could visit a web
site, then the same site a year ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago.
Much of that data is lost today. I hope to see it archived in the

My training is in photography and it is sad to see color photographs
taken of my family fading away to nothing. When my grandmother passed
away we were amazed to find beautiful black and white photos from the
late 1800s. The photographic record of her generation is much better
than mine.

The same thing is happening on the web. Its a great medium with so much
promise. Unfortunately it is in a constant state of change and few are
worried about preserving an archive for future generations. (how many of
you saved the first web page you ever made, just the way it was the day
you made it?)

Please post your thoughts, ideas, flames, comments on this topic.

Have a nice day. :-)

Jon Winters
visit the Obscura Lounge in OpenVerse

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 18:56:39 PDT