Alph is a project to explore techniques and develop tools for a xanalogical Web.
alph.js/DOCUPLEXTRON — Our client software, the DOCUPLEXTRON, is a zoomable 2.5D multi-document environment for reading, writing, and working with hypertexts.
alph.py — Because we like to make things hard for ourselves, we're also writing a personal media server, alph.py, to publish documents along with Linked Data, and to provide some of the facilities that we've always thought essential to a proper hypertext system: chiefly, fragmentary media delivery and automatic back-linking.
<x-text> — The essential thing we need for doing xanalogical documents in XML/HTML is a wrapper for Text nodes, which allows us to indicate a source for the enclosed text. In Alph, we're using an element called X-TEXT (for [x]analogical text)...
Most of the Alph software sprang into existence last fall (2016), with our own metadata formats and interfaces, and with our own linking models still on the drawing board.
When the W3C delivered the Web Annotation Data Model recommendation in February of this year – a spec that describes something very much like a xanalogical linking model for Web resources – we took a developmental pause to read into its implications for our own work.
Alph is based on Xanadu®, The Original Hypertext Project, conceived, conveyed, and coordinated by Ted Nelson for over a half century. Ted's sites, xanadu.com, xanadu.com.au, hyperland.net, and now perma.pub are invaluable resources for understanding the history and concepts behind this system.
I believe in Xanadu. And I believe we can still have it.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.