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Issue No.02 - April-June (2007 vol.29)
pp: 31-39
Henry Oinas-Kukkonen , University of Oulu
ABSTRACT
Douglas Engelbart's achievements are widely acknowledged, but Engelbart's background is not nearly so well known. This article, in exploring the connections between Vannevar Bush and Engelbart on hypertext's concept and implementation, argues that the history of hypertext and hypermedia systems (largely assumed to be correct) misreads the relationship between Bush and Engelbart.
INDEX TERMS
hypertext, hypermedia, Douglas Engelbart, Vannevar Bush
CITATION
Henry Oinas-Kukkonen, "From Bush to Engelbart: 'Slowly, Some Little Bells Were Ringing'", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.29, no. 2, pp. 31-39, April-June 2007, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2007.22
REFERENCES
1. D. Engelbart "interview by H. Oinas-Kukkonen, 25 May 2001, Bootstrap Institute, Fremont, California," I conducted the interview while researching diffusion processes of new technologies in the VRFlow2 research group of Infotech Oulu at the University of Oulu, Finland (see http://www.vrflow.oulu.fiabout.html; http://www.vrflow.oulu.fiteam.html). I have the audio record of the interview. Later, I had casual discussions with Engelbart, which helped to confirm my interpretation, in Menlo Park, California, on 8 Nov. 2004.
2. C. Burke, "The Other Memex: The Tangled Career of Vannevar Bush's Information Machine, The Rapid Selector," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 43, no. 10, Dec. 1992, p. 648.
3. J. Conklin, "Hypertext: An Introduction and Survey," Computer, vol. 20, no. 9, 1987, p. 20; J.B. Smith and S.F. Weiss, "Hypertext," Comm. ACM, vol. 31, no. 7, 1988, p. 816; P.M. Irish and R.H. Trigg, "Supporting Collaboration in Hypermedia: Issues and Experiences," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 40, no. 3, 1989, p. 192; D. Ellis, "Hypertext: Origins and Use," Int'l J. Information Management, vol. 11, 1991, p. 5; M. Bieber et al., "Fourth Generation Hypermedia: Some Missing Links for the World Wide Web," Int'l J. Human Computer Studies, vol. 47, Academic Press,1997, p. 51.
4. K.E. Smith, "Hypertext—Linking to the Future," Online, 12 Mar. 1988, p. 33; R. Rada and L.F. Lunin, "Introduction and Overview," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, May 1989, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 159–160; R. Rada, "Writing and Reading Hypertext: An Overview," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, May 1989, vol. 40, no. 3, p. 164; R. Simpson et al., "50 Years After 'As We May Think': The Brown/MIT Vannevar Bush Symposium"; http://www.cs.brown.edu/memexBush_Symposium_Interact_2.html #As We May Think.
5. V. Balasubramanian, "State of the Art Review on Hypermedia Issues And Applications"; http://www.e-papyrus.com/hypertext_review chapter1.html.
6. J.M. Nyce and P. Kahn, "Innovation, Pragmaticism, and Technological Continuity: Vannevar Bush's Memex," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 40, no. 3, May 1989, p. 215.
7. See, for example, R. Rada and L.F. Lunin "Introduction and Overview," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, May 1989, vol. 40, no. 3, p. 160; P.M. Irish and R.H. Trigg, Supporting Collaboration in Hypermedia: Issues and Experiences," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 40, no. 3, 1989, p. 192.
8. G. Marchionini, "Hypermedia and Learning: Freedom and Chaos," Educational Technology, vol. 28, no. 11, 1988, p. 8.
9. D. Ellis, "Hypertext: Origins and Use," Int'l J. Information Management, vol. 11, 1991, p. 11.
10. See, for example, R. Rada and L.F. Lunin, "Introduction and Overview," pp. 159–160, or V. Balasubramanian, State of the Art Review on Hypermedia Issues and Applications";http://www.e-papyrus.com/hypertext_review chapter1.html.
11. E.K. Welsch, "Hypertext, Hypermedia, and the Humanities Library Trends, vol. 40, no. 4, spring 1992, p. 614; G.P. Landow, "Hypertext in Literary Education, Criticism, and Scholarship," Computers and the Humanities, vol. 23, no. 3, June 1989, p. 174.
12. A. Heimbürger, R. Alkula, and T. Kuhanen, Hyperteksti ja Hypermedia, [Hypertext and Hypermedia], Valtion teknillinen tutkimuskeskus, 1990, p. 38 (in Finnish).
13. T. Nelson, interview by H. Oinas-Kukkonen, 30 Aug. 2000, in Jyväskylä, Finland," I have the audio record of the interview, on the basis of which three articles have been published in Finland.
14. See, for example, H. Ashman and R.M. Simpson, "Computing Surveys' Electronic Symposium on Hypertext and Hypermedia: Editorial," ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 31, no. 4, Dec. 1999, pp. 326–327.
15. K.E. Smith, "Hypertext—Linking to the Future," Online,12 Mar. 1988, p. 33.
16. J.B. Smith and S.F. Weiss, "Hypertext," Comm. ACM, vol. 31, no. 7, 1988, p. 816.
17. P.M. Irish and R.H. Trigg, "Supporting Collaboration in Hypermedia: Issues and Experiences," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 40, no. 3, 1989, p. 192.
18. D. Ellis, "Hypertext: Origins and Use," p. 7.
19. J. Conklin, "Hypertext: an introduction and survey," Computer, vol. 20, no. 9, 1987, p. 22.
20. R. Rada and L.F. Lunin, "Introduction and Overview," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 40, no. 3, May 1989, p. 159.
21. R. Simpson et al., "50 Years After 'As We May Think': The Brown/MIT Vannevar Bush Symposium," http://www.cs.brown.edu/memexBush_Symposium_Interact.html #Abstract; http://www.cs.brown.edu/memexBush_Symposium_Interact_2.html #As We May Think.
22. R. Simpson et al., "50 Years After 'As We May Think'," http://www.cs.brown.edu/memexBush_Symposium_Interact_2.html #As We May Think.
23. R. Simpson et al., "50 Years After 'As We May Think'," http://www.cs.brown.edu/memexBush_Symposium_Interact.html #Abstract.
24. E.K. Welsch, "Hypertext, Hypermedia, and the Humanities," Library Trends, vol. 40, no. 4, spring 1992, p. 616.
25. See, for example, K.E. Smith "Hypertext—Linking to the Future," p. 33.
26. E.K. Welsch, "Hypertext, Hypermedia, and the Humanities," p. 614.
27. See, for example, R. Rada, "Writing and Reading Hypertext: An Overview," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 40, no. 3, May 1989, p. 164.
28. M. Bieber et al., "Fourth Generation Hypermedia: Some Missing Links for the World Wide Web," Int'l J. Human Computer Studies, vol. 47, Academic Press, 1997, p. 32.
29. "Stanford and the Silicon Valley Oral History Interviews," D. Engelbart interview by J. Adams and H. Lowood, edited by T. Bardini, Interview 1, 19 Dec. 1986, http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/hasrg/ histsci/ssvoral/engelbartengfmst1-ntb.html .
30. D. Engelbart interview by H. Oinas-Kukkonen, 25 May 2001.
31. Discussions with D. Engelbart at Menlo Park, California, 8 Nov. 2004.
32. D.C. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, Summary Report AFOSR–3223 under Contract AF 49(638)–1024, SRI Project 3578 for Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Stanford Research Inst., Menlo Park, Calif., Oct. 1962. See, for example, http://www.bootstrap.org/augdocs/friedewald030402/ augmentinghumanintellectahi62index.html .
33. V. Bush, "As We May Think: A Top U.S. Scientist Foresees a Possible Future World in Which Man-Made Machines Will Start to Think," Life, vol. 19, no. 11, 1945, pp. 112–124.
34. V. Bush, "As We May Think," The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 176, no. 1, 1945, pp. 101–108, http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/194507bush .
35. D. Engelbart to V. Bush, "24 May 1962. See D.C. Engelbart, Letter to Vannevar Bush and Program On Human Effectiveness," From Memex to Hypertext. Vannevar Bush and the Mind's Machine, J.M. Nyce and P.Kahn eds., Academic Press, 1991, p. 236.
36. D. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, "III Examples and Discussion, A. Background." See, for example, http://www.bootstrap.org/augdocs/friedewald030402/ augmentinghumanintellect3examples.html .
37. D. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, "III Examples and Discussion, A. Background, 5. Other Related Thought and Work." See, for example, http://www.bootstrap.org/augdocs/friedewald030402/ augmentinghumanintellect3examples.html #A.5.
38. D. Engelbart to V. Bush, 24 May 1962. See D.C. Engelbart, "Letter to Vannevar Bush and Program On Human Effectiveness," p. 235.
39. D. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, "III Examples and Discussion, A. Background, 5. Other Related Thought and Work." See, for example, http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/EngelbartPapers B5_F18_ConceptFrameworkPt3.html #A.5.
40. P. Kahn and J.M. Nyce, "The Idea of a Machine: The Later Memex Essays," From Memex to Hypertext. Vannevar Bush and the Mind's Machine, J.M. Nyce, and P. Kahn eds. Academic Press, 1991, p. 129.
41. D. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, "B. Hypothetical Description of Computer-Based Augmentation System, 5. General Symbol Structuring." See, for example, http://www.bootstrap.org/augdocs/friedewald030402/ augmentinghumanintellect3examples.html #B.5.
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