[John Ohno] has been working on a zzstructure operating system written C since January. [John] realizes not many people know what a zzstructure is, so he posted a demo of his project. [John] has also put all the code online.
A zzstructure is both a hypertext and operating system unlike anything we have today. You could say that when it was first conceived in 1960 it was 100 years ahead of its time. [John]’s implementation of zzstructures operates on a 256-dimension grid and functions a lot like a multidimensional forum thread. Although that’s a lot to wrap your head around, it can probably best be explained by [Ted Nelson], the creator of zzstructures.
The zzstructure was an integral part of the first hypertext project, Project Xanadu, started by [Ted Nelson] in 1960. The idea behind Project Xanadu is a sea change from the current implementations of hypertext, but the project fell into a chasm of development hell lasting more than 20 years. Wired did a story on The Curse of Xanadu in 1995, and to read about a wonderful idea – an information structure not based on the idea of paper – be supplanted by the web is just sad. The UI of [John]’s build resembles the first implementation of Xanadu, but without the split-screen and dual-cursor design.
We’re really impressed with [John]’s work, and even though he thinks it would be great for electronic organizers, we think a zzstructure implementation would be great for coding or development. We don’t see many software hacks but with something like this, it’s hard not to be impressed.