HyperTerrorist's Timeline of Hypertext History

Subject: HyperTerrorist's Timeline of Hypertext History
From: Diane Brennan <dbrennan -at- WOLFENET -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 17:32:03 -0500

I thought others on the list might enjoy this timeline of hypertext =
communication as much as I did (BEWARE: it's lengthy). The original =
pages have hypertext links to associated pages. It can be found at the =
following URL:


Diane Brennan

HyperTerrorist's Timeline of Hypertext History

Jorn Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 March 1996

(I've tried to take a very broad view of what hypertext includes, and to =
find interesting pages to link it to. Suggestions and corrections are =

The Age of Writing (every book is handwritten, with an individual =

c3000BCE: papyrus scrolls, clay tablets refer to earlier ones?
c1700BCE: phonetic alphabets in mideast
c335BCE: Aristotle surveys human knowledge
c300BCE: Alexandria Library project innovates xrefs and annotations
c100: first books in 'codex' form; uppercase letterforms established
c700: lowercase letterforms established
c900: "1001 Arabian Nights" frames stories within stories within stories
1140: Gratian's "Decretum" collates 3800 divergent Catholic texts
c1300: Kabbalists and Ramon Llull explore text combinatorics

The Age of Printing (the illusion of an objective voice)=20

1455: Gutenberg's Bible using moveable type
c1500: title pages, prefaces grow out of publishers' colophons
?: page numbering?
?: punctuation and English spelling standardized
1725: Vico's "New Science" calls for universal thesaurus of concepts
1746-55: Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of English
1759: Sterne's "Tristram Shandy" makes *form* the center of a novel
1768: Encyclopedia Britannica surveys all knowledge

The Age of Electricity (exploring an infinitely impressionable medium)=20

1837: Morse Code digitizes alphabet
1839: Panizzi's cataloguing code for British Museum
1852: Roget's Thesaurus digitizes word-meanings
1873: Dewey Decimal System digitizes topic-meanings
1890: Hollerith's punched-card computer
1895: Cathode-ray tube (CRT)
1939: Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" uses puns to implement diverging =
1940: First electronic computers in US, UK, and Germany
1941: Borges's story "Garden of the Forking Paths" (tribute to Joyce's =

The Era of Big Iron (allowing coarse projections of human reason)=20

1945: Vannevar Bush proposes Memex; ENIAC completed
1948: Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley create first transistor
1954: Skinner's behaviorism inspires 'programmed learning' approach
1957: ARPA formed in response to Sputnik
1960: "Spacewar" first videogame on PDP-1 at MIT
1960: Donald Bitzer initiates PLATO computer-based education project
1962: Nabokov's "Pale Fire" disguises novel as footnotes to a long poem
1963: Doug Engelbart's "A Conceptual Framework"
1963: Quillian lays AI groundwork for semantic nets
1963: ASCII 7-bit standard digitizes alphabet; first 'teletext'
1964: McLuhan's "Understanding Media" postulates global village
1965: Ted Nelson coins the term "hypertext"; Englebart invents the mouse
1966: Cortazar's "Hopscotch" published-- multi-path novel
1968: Englebart's "Augment/NLS" hypertext sys; Brown's HES (Nelson & van =
1968: Alan Kay's "DynaBook" cardboard prototype; SCRIPT?

The Network Era (a radically new dimension in human communication)=20

1969: ARPANET; Ritchie & Thompson's UNIX operating system
1969: FRESS developed at Brown U
1969: Ernst, Newell & Simon's General Problem Solver
1971: Intel 4004 microprocessor
1972: Tomlinson invents email
1972: ZOG development begins at Carnegie Mellon (distributed hypertext)
1973: PLATO Notes early groupware; Waterloo Script?
1974: Ted Nelson's "Computer Lib/Dream Machines"
1974: TCP proposed by Cerf and Kahn
1974: Minsky reifies the 'frame' as data structure for AI
1976: Don Woods adds fantasy to Wm Crowther's '72 cave adventure -> 1st =
1976: TROFF?; Michael Shrayer writes Electric Pencil for Altair
?: Pong

The Micro Era (personalized computing brings a burst of innovation)=20

1977: Apple ][ personal computer
1977: UUCP networked-copy program distributed with Unix
1978: First BBS created by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess
1978: MIT's "Aspen Movie Map" hypermedia videodisc
1979: Truscott & Bellovin's Usenet news; Bartle & Trubshaw first MUD
?1979: choose-your-own-adventure books
1979: WordStar word processing software
1980: Infocom ports Zork to the Apple
?: Atari's PacMan
1981: Xerox debuts the Star, with mouse and windows
1981/2/3: Development-- KMS (Knowledge Sys.)/ Guide (U Kent)/ TIES (U =
1981: Nelson's "Literary Machines"- Xanadu, centralized hypertext =
1981: French Telecom pioneers nationwide Minitel network
1982: Netnews distributes 500 msgs/day to 100 sites in <100 newsgroups
1983: TCP/IP replaces NCP, defines "Internet"
1983: Randall Trigg's PhD on hypertext "TEXTNET" at U of Maryland
?: Doug Adams translates "Hitchhiker's Guide" for Infocom

The WYSIWYG Era (conflicting standards for *esthetic* computation)=20

1984: Apple Macintosh bundled w/WYSIWYG word processor MacWrite
1984: Gibson coins 'cyberspace' in "Neuromancer"
1984: Knuth's "Literate Programming", TeX
1984: Guide implemented commercially by Office Workstations
1984/5/6: Devel-- NoteCards (Xerox)/ Intermedia (BrownU)/ Writing Env. =
1984: Doug Lenat begins Cyc project at MCC (common sense -> logic)
1984: DNS Domain Name Server, Internet hosts break 1000
1985: Adobe Postscript; CD-ROMs; Windows 1.0 [Windows Help?]
1985: The WELL offers Silicon Valley a community BBS
1985: Janet Walker creates Symbolics "Document Examiner"
1986: Goldfarb's SGML standard adopted
1986: NSFnet backbone opens Internet access to all; NNTP speeds netnews

The Hypertext Era (personal hypertext generates excitement)=20

1987: Apple bundles HyperCard with every Macintosh
1987: Hypertext '87 Workshop held in North Carolina
1987: Conklin's "Hypertext: An Introduction and Survey"
1987: Internet hosts break 10,000; 1000 news msgs/day in 300 groups
?: Wayne Davison adds threading to rn -> "trn"
1989: Tim Berners-Lee proposes WorldWide Web
1989: 100,000 Internet hosts; ?4,000 news msgs/day in ?500 newsgroups
1989: Autodesk funds Xanadu project development (dropped 1992)
1989: IBM's LinkWay & IRIS Intermedia 3.0 released commercially
1989: Schneiderman & Kearsley's "Hypertext Hands-On"; Joyce's =
1990: ECHT (European Conference on Hypertext)
1990: HTML; Deutsch, Emtage, & Heelan's Archie; Lotus Notes?
1991: Sony's Data Discman; Franklin's Electronic Bible
1991: Lindner & McCahill's Gopher; Kahle's WAIS

The WWWeb Era (global hypertext with minimal imposed structure)=20

1992: CERN ?releases WWWeb [http?]
1992: 1,000,000 Internet hosts; 10,000 news msgs/day in ?1000 newsgroups
1992: Ed Krol's "Whole Internet Guide" is a bestseller
1992: alt.hypertext newsgroup created
1993: Int'l Wrkshp on Hypermedia & Hypertext Standards, Amsterdam =
1993: NCSA Mosaic 1.0 for X Windows (June)
1993: WWW dvlprs conf, Cambridge MA (August); Hypertext Conf, Seattle =
1993: "A Hard Day's Night" CD-ROM from Voyager; US White House on WWWeb
1993: "Myst" by Robyn and Rand Miller, "Doom" by ID released
1994: WWWeb byte-traffic passes Gopher byte-traffic on NSFnet (March)
1994: Confs: Geneva, Intl WWW; Vancvr, Ed Multimed; Edinbrgh, Hypermed =
1994: Clark & Andreessen form Mosaic (-> Netscape), release 1st beta

The Netscape Era (NHTML evolution driven largely by user-gee-whiz =

1995: ?10 million Internet hosts; ??250,000 news msgs/day in ?10,000 =
?1995: Lycos WWWeb search engine; Yahoo WWWeb category index
1995: Comp.infosystems.www.*.* reorg creates 18 groups; alt.culture.www
1995: Netscape IPO goes stratospheric, Wall Street goes nuts for the Net
1995: Java makes applets net-portable
1995: DEC's Altavista search engine word-indexes 15 million pages (Dec)
1996: 24 Hours in Cyberspace documentary project (Feb 8?)
1996: US telecom bill outlaws indecency on Net, immediate court =

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