Engelbartian Functionalities

It is useful to read through Doug Engelbart’s work on the Engelbart Institute at  http://dougengelbart.org if you would like to better understand what capabilities he invented and was interested. The following is primarily taken from ‘Authorship Provisions In Augment’, http://dougengelbart.org/content/view/148/000/ where capabilities which are common today have not been included:


  • A Journal. A repository to which documents can be posted but cannot be deleted, only increased in version number if a new version is submitted, featuring high resolution addressability and other capabilities as described below. This is the inspiration for the site you are now, the jrnl. This is described further in Authorship Provisions in Augment, section 10C: http://www.dougengelbart.org/content/view/148/#10c


Advanced Linking

  • High Resolution Linking, so that a link can point to a specific sentence, paragraph or any other object within a document, not just to the document as a whole
  • Implicit Links through which the user can choose to view any corpus entry the text is implicitly linked to, such as a dictionary entry or a glossary entry
  • Basic ‘Hyper’ Characteristics where embedded objects called links can point to any arbitrary object within the document, or within another document in a specified domain of documents – and the link can be actuated by a user or an automatic process to “go see what is at the other end,” or “bring the other-end object to this location,” or “execute the process identified at the other end.” (These executable processes may control peripheral devices such as CD ROM, video-disk players, etc.)
  • Multiple Links from one place to allow the user to choose what aspect to follow
  • Link Types to specify what the link points to, such as supplemental information and so on
  • Backlinks & Link Databases so that the a document is aware of incoming links as well as outgoing links
  • Links in Images. It is of course possible to create image maps but the current tools do not support this for non-graphics people. Doug had the example of showing a basic map where each location name could be clicked on to jump to its corresponding document. This is not quick to do today. https://youtu.be/M5PgQS3ZBWA?t=953

 Rich ViewSpecs {View Specifications}

Allows the user to decide how to view a document, including options to show only the first sentence of every paragraph and so on:


  • Structure Cutoff. Show only the statements that lie “below” this statement in the structure (i.e., this “branch”); or show only those following statements that are at this level or deeper; or show all of the following statements that will fit in this window
  • Level Clipping. For the designated structure cutoff, show only the statements down to a specified level. Lower-level statements are “clipped” from the view; the worker can thus view just a selected number of the upper levels of his document/file
  • Statement Truncation. For those statements brought into view (as selected by other view specifications), show only their first n lines. Truncation to one line is often used, along with level clipping, in order to get an effective overview
  • Inter-Statement Separation. For viewing ease — blank lines can be optionally installed between statements. (Note: The foregoing view controls are extremely helpful when studying and modifying a document’s structural organization.)
  • Statement Numbers and Names. Optionally, for a given window, show the Statement Number (or the SID) of each statement — with an option for showing them at either the right or at the left margin. Independently, the showing of statement names may be turned on or off
  • Frozen Statements. A worker may select a number of statements, in random order, and designate them as “frozen.” One of the view-specification options is to have the frozen statements appear at the top of the frame, with the rest of that window left for normal viewing and editing. The frozen statements may be edited, or even cross-edited between any other displayed (or addressable) statements
  • User-Specified Content Filters. A simple content-analysis language may be used in a ‘Set Content Pattern’ command, which compiles a little content-checking program. One of the view-specification options will cause the system to display only those statements which satisfy both the structure and level conditions imposed by other viewspecs, and which also pass the content-analysis test applied by this program. Where desired, very sophisticated content-analysis programs may be written, using a full-blown programming language, and placed on call for any user