Ted Nelson's ZigZag technology

On this page, I try to briefly introduce ZigZag the way I see it. The view point is technical, as the first applications of ZigZag are only about to be ready for end-users. I've also tried to include links to all important ZigZag sites on the net, as well as to a few relating matters.

If you would prefer information on using ZigZag, please refer to current implementations.

ZigZag is a concept originally created by Ted Nelson for Xanadu hypertext system. It can be applied to information systems - whole, or parts of: user interfaces, databases, applications, the operating system. The major part of ZigZag is the ZigZag space: a network of information cells, ordered into ranks, cubes and linked clusters along multiple dimensions. All data in the system is stored in this global space. Into this space, several views can be created for the user and access provided for programs in the system.

Altough Nelson has designed the concept independently from prevailing pradigms in computing, it can be seen as drawing from many well-established concepts, paradigms and theories:

ZigZag is, however, a unique cocktail of old and new, a system meeting Nelson's opinions of computing as a target. Some ideas that are special in ZigZag:

Major documentation

Current implementations



Projects with similar goals

2000-2002 Tuukka Hastrup (Tuukka.Hastrup@iki.fi)