Theodor Holm Nelson


Founding Designer, Project Xanadu

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Ted Nelson imagined world-wide hypertext in the 1960s, and from the 1960s strove for a system of world-wide hypertext– of which the Web (with only jump-links) is a subset. Parallel pages, visibly connected, were and are, the main idea.

He coined many terms in common use (all with articles in Wikipedia)– hypertext, hypermedia, micropayment, transclusion, intertwingularity, dildonics (“teledildonics” came later), enfilade, docuverse, and compound document. Ones he coined not as quite as well used (and not in Wikipedia) include structangle, possiplex, hyperthogonal structure, and sworfing (swooping and/or morphing).

For over fifty years Ted has been a proponent and designer of Project Xanadu— originally an initiative and software for world-wide hypertext, but continuing as an alternative design for electronic documents with visible connection between pages (still impossible in all other document systems).

Ted is the author of ten books and many articles.

His degrees include BA Swarthmore, MA Harvard, PhD Keio University plus an honorary PhD from Chapman University.

Books about Ted Nelson include “Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson,” by Dechow and Struppa.

With a broad appeal spanning computer scientists, science historians and the general reader, this inspiring collection reveals the continuing influence of the original visionary of the World Wide Web.