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What is Project Xanadu and how is it different from the World Wide Web?

Project Xanadu was the first hypertext project, founded in 1960 by Ted Nelson.

Main differences between Project Xanadu and the World Wide Web

  • Unbreakable, two-way links, while in the World Wide Web links are one-way and often break;
  • Simplified copyright system with special permissions and methods to quote external sources, where all quotations stay connected to their original, while in the World Wide Web copyright is a matter of debate and leads to unsolved questions and issues;
  • Side-by-side comparison between connected documents, version management and incremental publishing that allows changing documents incrementally (without any loss of information and without breaking any link), while in the World Wide Web old pages often get lost and links break.

Administrators of Project Xanadu have declared it an improvement over the World Wide Web, with mission statement:

Today’s popular software simulates paper. The World Wide Web (another imitation of paper) trivializes our original hypertext model with one-way ever-breaking links and no management of version or contents.

Read more about Xanadu model.