HyperScope Live Concept
Doug Engelbart invented hypertext, though he did not refer
to it as hypertext, windows, groupware, though again, he didn't
use that term. Doug Engelbart is the inventor of most of the
human-computer-interfaces we use to interact with our information
through our computers today. Oh, did I forget to mention the
mouse? That's his as well.
Ironically, though he had one of the first two computers connected
to the Internet
much of what he has invented has disappeared into obscurity.
(NLS) system, which was the original environment for much
of his contributions to our information environments, has been
largely forgotten as the Internet and the World
Wide Web has just taken over the world. Augment will not
run on a modern PC out of the box. It is not Web compatible even,
it uses pre-Web protocols.
Doug's great demo
day in 1968 is the day which has gone down in computing history
as the day the world saw most of his innovations for the first
time. That was over thirty years ago and he's not been sleeping
since- he has continued to innovate though his ideas are still
decades ahead of their time so few understand him and think him
cranky for complaining that more of his visions have not become
part and parcel of daily knowledge work. "Doug they say,
you invented the mouse, you're famous though certainly not as
rich as you deserve to be, relax, be happy!" Yea right,
we should have stopped innovating and making better information
environments in the sixties when a word processor seemed like
science fiction: "You mean use a whole computer for just
one person to write a document on?! I don't thinkso"
It's really a simple equation though, the rest of us will
have to strain to look another 20-30 years into the future to
see what he's going on about today. Since the sixties computers
have become almost un-imaginably faster than they are today.
In 1985 Pixar's classic short
Jr." was rendered using a Cray
super computers. It took the Cray 75 hours to render one second
of animation. Today you can do the same animation on the consumer
priced 3D gaming card Nvidia
3, in how long? LIVE!
The damn thing can do it live! It can do 800 billion operations
And we have largely ignored Doug's vision and inventions in
twice that time period. Can you name any significant human-computer-interface
It's time to listen up. Moore's
Law continues unabated. Every 18 months data processing capacity
doubles. Computer games are looking better all the time. Doug,
we are ready to listen. What do you want us to do?
Doug Engelbart is mostly given credit for two things, the
mouse and ease of use. That is not how he views his contribution.
He feels he has created an environment for augmenting the human
intellect, of which the mouse and windows are but enabling parts.
It's not about ease, it's about control.
This demo is live for a select number of Augment exported
HTML documents, though unfortunately not all as they were not
all exported with the same formatting.
This concept demo features
- Individual paragraph addressability. The paragraph
URLs are accessed through the long periods at the end of each
paragraph. Click on one to copy its link location and you've
got yourself a link to the beginning of that paragraph.
- Limited Viewspec (View Specification) support.
- You can truncate to show only the first sentence of every
- Highlight any word in the document in red and optionally
choose to gray all the other ones.
It works like this
The HyperScope lives at:
This by itself doesn't do anything. You need to feed it the
URL of an article...
...like this one:
Put them together and you get:
try it below! You'll
see the regular article with a new frame underneath it, the viewspec
frame and the article itself now has paragraph level addressability.
Articles which work include
(NOTE: not all work
with all the features):
Intellectual Implications of Multi-Access
Computer Networks. 1970.
Coordinated Information Services
for a Discipline- or Mission-Oriented Community. 1972.
The Augmented Knowledge Workshop. 1973.
NLS Teleconferencing Features: The
Journal and Shared-Screen Telephoning.
User Interface Design Issues for
a Large Interactive System.
A Software Engineering Environment. 1977.
Evolving the Organization of the
Future: A Point of View. 1980.
Toward High-Performance Knowledge
Collaboration Support Provisions
in Augment. 1984.
Authorship Provisions in Augment.
Describes many of the features
of Augment. 1984.
Workstation History and The Augmented
Knowledge Workshop. 1988.
and an Open Hyperdocument System.
Toward High-Performance Organizations:
A Strategic Role for Groupware.
The Viewspec controls
You can control the Viewspec through the frame at the bottom
of the screen:
Checking "First sentence per paragraph" truncates the
text to show an outlines, highlighting makes any word entered
show up in red and graying others grays every word not highlighted.
You have to click 'Refresh' to implement any changes.
The reality is that this is a very limited demo which only
works on documents which have a consistent formatting. It took
Jan Ploski, head programmer here at the Liquid Information company,
six hours to do this. It will not be hard to implement different
filters for different formats, but this is just a simple demo,
a live mock-up if you will and it's all we could afford to put
together. But it shows the concept.
You think this is cool? You think this is useful and amazing?
It's just a shadow of what Augment could do to give the user
control of their documents. And that's 20 years ago. Imagine
what an OHS HyperScope would allow you to do. Feel constrained
by Word & Explorer yet?
To learn more
Have a look at the official Engelbart page: http://www.bootstrap.org/chronicle/curatorial/story/story-p1.html#5
Doug Engelbarts organization, The Bootstrap Institute is at:
You can listen to Doug Engelbart right here on www.liquid.org/glossary
An introduction to OHS is also right here at www.liquid.org/ohs
Copyright 2002 Doug
Engelbart & Frode Hegland