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Ted Nelson

Theodor Holm Nelson (born 1937)

Ted Nelson invented the term 'hypertext' in 1965, and is a pioneer of information technology. He also coined the word transclusion.

Ted Nelson is admired as a modern philosopher who worked in the fields of information, computers, and human-machine interfaces. He founded Project Xanadu in 1960 with the goal of creating such a system on a computer network, further documented in his 1974 book Computer Lib / Dream Machines and the 1981 Literary Machines.

The Xanadu project itself failed to take off, but its vision is in the process of being fulfilled by Tim Berners-Lee's invention of the World Wide Web that owes much of its inspiration to Xanadu.

Nelson hates the World Wide Web, the Internet, XML and all embedded markup, and regards Berners-Lee's work as a gross over-simplification of his own work.

He is currently working on a new information structure, ZigZag, information about which can be found off the Xanadu project home page, http://xanadu.com/ which also contains two versions of the Xanadu code


  • Life, Love, College, etc. (1959)
  • Computer Lib/Dream Machines (1974)
  • The Home Computer Revolution (1977)
  • Literary Machines (1981, 1993)
  • The Future of Information (1997)

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