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)...
And since the world of fragment selectors on the Web is a corpse-strewn wasteland of motley dreck, we have chosen (and drafted – of course) a few that will best serve our purpose:
Alph Simple Selectors – simple numeric fragment selectors for addressing, linking, and transclusion of "flat" media — text, images, audio, and video streams.
XPointers – For addressing fragments of XML/HTML documents in Alph, we use the element() and range() XPointer schemes. These are some notes about our implementation.
Alph Status Update 2020-12-16
What a year.
If you lived through 2020 with the rest of us, then I don't need to elaborate.
If you've checked the tracker on GitLab then you will of course have seen that there was no activity on the project between June of 2019 and December of 2020. Yikes! This isn't entirely true however, as I did work on documentation, specifications, and design a little during that time – just no code.
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.
—Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge