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November 9, 2004 » 6:27 pm

Purple 1969 Flashback

Jamie Dinkelacker and I had a very stimulating conversation about all things collaboration and Doug Engelbart last night. Something he said about the IETF reminded me of something. If you check out IETF RFC 2 (circa 1969), you’ll notice alphanumeric references in front of each paragraph. Those are equivalent to what we call hierarchical identifiers in Purple Numbers.    (4DE)

This is no coincidence, of course. Hierarchical identifiers are stolen from Doug Engelbart‘s Augment system, where they were called structural location numbers. As for RFC 2, it was written using Augment by Bill Duvall at SRI.    (4DF)

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2 Responses to “Purple 1969 Flashback”

  1. I think this numbering system was used in legal documents before Augment. Though I could be wrong…

  2. I wouldn’t be shocked. The legal profession are far ahead of other groups when it comes to understanding the importance of citation, granular addressability, and annotation.

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