On the 2018-07-24, I saw an announcement by Frode Hegland that he had recently founded the “Future of Text Institute”, which I “joined” subsequently. Since I got more interested in hypertext, I was unable to find somebody else who wants to collaborate on text-oriented projects despite a lot of people claim to feel the need that something should be done for text, maybe because such demands seem to be fashionable these days. Of the few who are actually active in the field, most are busy following their own, largely incompatible approach as I do too. On the other hand, there’s no way I can figure it out all by myself and with only a few hours of spare time at my disposal, it wouldn’t be very wise to come up with a big, monolithic design.
The Future of Text Institute offers the chance to be developed into a loose federation of text enthusiasts, housing a collection of diverse tools, projects and resources that aim to cover each and every activity one potentially might want to perform with text. Parts of it could slowly converge on the level of compatibility towards a more coherent system or framework, so they don’t exist in isolation but can be used together in more powerful ways. Other efforts like the Doug@50 demo, the Federated Wiki by Ward Cunningham, the Text Engine by Francesc Hervada-Sala, not to mention the myriad of earlier system designs, are subject of study as well as candidates for cooperation. In this capacity, the Institute supports small and big initiatives that don’t fit into what’s already around.
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