You can read about Project Xanadu at http://xanadu.com/xUniverse-D6
What am I looking at?
It doesn’t help that the page overflows the margins on my browser (Chrome on maOS, full screen).
It’s a digitization of Vladimir Nabakov’s famous parallel novel ‘Pale Fire’, using the XanaduCambridge demo. If you click any of the selected sections, it’ll display a beam/bridge to the corresponding section in the other columns. Ted walks through it and explains in this video, but it’s more interesting to do it yourself than to watch somebody interact with it for you.
I don’t bother blocking JS.
Here’s what it looks to me: https://www.dropbox.com/s/750cd1u3wweg5o5/Screenshot%202019-08-09%2020.46.36.png?dl=0
Borderline unusable, especially the horrible ragged right margin.
But it’s cool that Xanadu is actually up and running after half a century in gestation!
Hmm, it looks like a legit bug in detecting the window size.
Xanadu Cambridge is one of 2 web-based demo implementations. (The first one, OpenXanadu, was released in 2013 or 2014, & was developed at the Internet Archive; I contributed a couple small things to it, in addition to a bunch of work on a caching proxy that ended up not being used. Cambridge was developed at Cambridge starting shortly before I left the project, and I think it got released around 2017.) There’s a desktop implementation currently under development, but it looks like it’s unrelated to the desktop implementation I worked on from 2011 to 2016 (itself a reimplementation of a desktop client developed by Rob Smith around 2007). Meanwhile, the folks who developed what later became Udanax Green and Udanax Gold (released in 1999) at XOC and Autodesk have, intermittently, been returning to those codebases. So, there’s actually a lot of work on Xanadu and a lot of different versions in a runnable state – though Ted doesn’t like to release or publicize things that he doesn’t consider to be worthy of shipping.
Thanks for posting the link anyway.
It looks similar here. I can drag the left frame into view if I hit the correct spot on the title bar. (It’s pretty mysterious which parts of the title bar act as drag/resize vertically/resize 2d.) And yeah the hard-wrapped text isn’t particularly readable unless you resize the frame to be wide enough.
It’s weird that there’s hard wrapping in the first column (since Ted’s against it), & so I suspect that it’s actually some kind of limitation on how text is laid out in order to support beams. (When we implemented that feature, it was complicated & we had to write a brand new layout engine to support it, in which differences between expected font sizes & actual as-rendered font sizes would produce a lot of jaggedness.) I’ll best the heuristic for layout couldn’t be made reliable because of client-side font availability or something. However, I never worked on this implementation so I don’t know for sure. OpenXanadu didn’t have this kind of jaggedness. (It’s also present in the unauthorized XuCambridge fork that was posted here a few months ago.)