"Here we are," said Brown CS Professor Andries "Andy" van Dam in 1987, "and we have to ask, perhaps rhetorically, has hypertext arrived?" He was delivering a keynote address at the first ACM Hypertext Conference (text available here) in which he credited visionaries Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson, reviewed Brown's hypertext experiments to date, and talked about nine issues facing the linked world, ranging from standards and accessibility to sociopolitico-economic problems. "Hypertext is basically clay, and we have to mold it; that is what this workshop is all about: starting to mold that clay."
Three decades later, Andy will return to the conference for its thirtieth anniversary to again deliver a keynote ("Reflections on a Half-Century of Hypertext"), this time in Hof, Germany, on September 17. As part of his remarks, he'll be looking back on five decades of Brown hypermedia systems and demoing three of them (FRESS, from the late ‘60s, TAG, from 2017, and Dash, under development), presenting them in the context of the research trends that ultimately led to the interconnected society in which we live.
"What I did not predict," he says, referring back to the visions of pioneers like Engelbart, "is that 50 years later the revolution in human-centered computing would remain far too unfinished in terms of its positive societal impact. Indeed, that impact and utility are increasingly in jeopardy from a variety of forces, both economic and political. I will close with some thoughts on both deliberately designed and unanticipated societal issues of social media that I feel we technologists must urgently help address."
Andy's keynote will be livestreamed on September 17: see the event's website for details.
For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.