Saturday, July 2, 2011

Project xanadu document dump

This has only the vaguest relationship to the content of this blog, but I'm posting it here because it's the place I'm most likely to look later.

A little context: I am a huge fan of Project Xanadu, and a ridiculous percentage of my personal projects have to do with variants on the Xanadu designs (mostly xu88 and zigzag). Going through my scribd feed I discovered that I at some point gathered and repackaged a bunch of old Project Xanadu documents and stuck them up there. I have the tendency to download every pdf I see, and I have a tendency to on occasion upload every pdf I have hanging around that looks public domain to scribd so they don't prevent me from downloading pdfs from them. So, if I don't link it up again, I will probably lose track of it for another few years.


Note on copyright: IP belonging to Project Xanadu, Xanadu Operating Company, etc., is actually even more complicated than normal IP concerns. Early Xanadu material was made by an ever-refreshing group operating under 'Plan R doctrine': the idea that if one member lost contact with the rest of the group for a long period and no release seemed imminent, that one member would be expected to release the material he or she had in his or her possession to the public regardless of who wrote it. This conflicts with the fact that everyone involved kept copyright on their work, and various members of the group have different ideas about what qualifies as long enough for Plan R to be enacted, how little contact is necessary, and what constitutes a reasonable attempt to contact the rest of the group. Furthermore, XOC both operated on its own and was at one time a subsidiary of Autodesk, which may or may not affect copyright claims for material that was in XOC's possession during the Autodesk period or made during the Autodesk period by XOC. So, there is a fairly long history of one member (usually Ted Nelson) blessing an independent implementation or a particular release and then another member coming out of the woodwork unexpectedly with a suit or a complaint (this happened with gzz -- which is now known as FenFire and does not support zzstructures -- and may or may not be involved in the problems with the Udanax Gold release, which is source code in a SmallTalk-like language that compiles to C++ but for which no working compiler can be released).

No comments:

Post a Comment