demo of new web tools, Nov 6, 8:45 PM, Hyatt, Palo Alto

Max More (
Tue, 04 Nov 1997 20:50:48 -0800



Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 14:35:02 -0800

From: Elaine Tschorn <<>

Subject: demo of new web tools, Nov 6, 8:45 PM, Hyatt, Palo Alto

<bold>"The Other Half of Hypertext" Web Software

to be Demoed and Released for Free Use

</bold>"Father of Hypertext" Engelbart praises new web tools


Summary: New free web tools enable users to put their own comment links
into any web document. Links of this new type are displayed, along with
the original author's links, on a one-screen graphical display showing
who agrees and disagrees with any document on the web.


Just as the original World Wide Web was created by a small group of
programmers making a tool for their own use, new web tools for "the other
half of hypertext" are being delivered for free public use by a tiny
group of hypertext advocates. The tools will be demonstrated Thursday,
November 6, 8:45 PM, at a free evening session of the Foresight Institute
annual conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Palo Alto, California.

Foresight Institute has set up a free web site to enable web users to
engage in Critical Issues discussions. The site's URL will be announced
at the Thursday demo. At this new site, users can:

* Use <bold>CritLink</bold> to add their own comment links anywhere in
the text of any web document. For the first time, readers can "mark up"
others' documents to agree, disagree, ask questions, or make a general

* Use <bold>CritMap</bold> to display all of a web document's links --
both links made by the original author and reactions by others -- in a
graphical display. For the first time, readers can see, on one screen,
who has linked to a given web page, and whether they agree or disagree.

* Use <bold>CritMail</bold>, a new version of Hypermail which takes
email discussions and converts them into web documents where quoted text
is linked to its original location. For the first time, readers can
easily see a quote as its author meant it to appear -- in context.

Doug Engelbart -- known as a pioneer of hypertext as well as inventor of
the computer mouse and graphical user interface -- said the Crit toolset
is "Another good step in web evolution toward the complete feature set it
needs to truly revolutionize how we collectively develop and apply
knowledge -- in business and throughout society."

Foresight's chairman Eric Drexler, a long-time advocate of full-featured
hypertext publishing, said, "Making progress on the complex technology
issues that we face requires better connections between statements of
contrasting views. Our hope is that these new social software tools will
enable a higher level of quality in web-based discussion."

Users read and comment on web documents by viewing them with the new
tools, which run on a web server. Users need no additional software of
any kind; the tools work with their web browser.

The developers of these technologies -- Ka-Ping Yee, Terry Stanley, and
Peter McCluskey -- are providing source code for free use and
modification by individuals and companies who wish to use the new tools
on their servers.

Foresight Institute (http://<bold></bold>) is a
nonprofit foundation specializing in education on emerging technologies.
Foresight sponsors the development of social software designed to improve
the quality of critical discussion of public policy issues in

For more information, see
or contact Foresight Institute, tel 415-917-1122, fax 415-917-1123, email


Max More, Ph.D.

President, Extropy Institute:,