Technical    (IU)

What programming language is NLS written in?    (J6)

NLS-Augment was written in a language named L10. The L10 programming language was invented by the NLS team at SRI for the purpose of developing NLS itself.    (J7)

What hardware was NLS able to run on?    (J8)

Because NLS (and later Augment) was written over a period of several decades, it ran on a number of different hardware systems. Some of the hardware that NLS was run on include:    (J9)

People, Words, Places    (JD)

Where does the name NLS come from?    (JE)

NLS is an acronym for oNLine System.    (JF)

Where does the name Augment come from?    (JG)

In 1977, the NLS system and some of the NLS team were sold by SRI to a company named TymShare. As part of the transfer, the NLS system was renamed. Augment is the name chosen by DougEngelbart because he felt that the software would help "augment" the human intellect.    (JH)

Project    (IV)

How did the NLS-Augment Restoration project get started?    (IW)

In December 2004, JonathanCheyer was invited to the 80th birthday party for DougEngelbart. During the party, a demo of NLS was shown. Many people who hadn't seen it before (and many who had) were amazed by how much the software was able to do for its time and how well it helped people work together. People were very interested in Doug's focus on "augmenting the human intellect and boosting the CollectiveIQ."    (IX)

JonathanCheyer brought up the question that had been asked many times before: Why isn't this available for people to use? Why isn't more information about NLS available for people to learn from and improve upon?    (IY)

Lots of people haved referred to NLS in books, articles, and on the web. An old video of the 1968_Demo was available. But that was it. No running software, no source code, very little documentation was available on the web. Many of the old stories were slowly being lost.    (IZ)

JonathanCheyer wondered out loud: how hard would it really be to just *do* it?    (J0)

At about the same time, PhilGust had independently spoken with the ComputerHistoryMuseum about starting a project with the Software Collection Committee to consider trying to locate and preserve NLS. People at the party told JonathanCheyer that he should introduce himself to PhilGust and work together on the project. And that is how the NLS Restoration project was started.    (J1)

How many running NLS systems are there?    (J2)

Before the NLS Restoration project was started, there was only one known running NLS-Augment system left in existence. The instance is the one that Doug Engelbart still uses to this day.    (J3)

Since then, a clone of the NLS-Augment system has been obtained. There are now additional copies of NLS-Augment available to the members of the NLS Restoration project.    (J4)

Legal work has been undertaken to determine the legal owner of the code and documentation. Once the legal work has been completed, the goal is to make all of the software available to the world at large. We hope to see many more NLS-Augment systems running soon!    (J5)

Are there any publicly accessible Augment systems available?    (JK)

Not at this time.    (JL)

DougEngelbart is running his own personal system (as he has been for the last 20 years). A few of the NLS Restoration team members have access to their own instance. Also, the HyperScope [core team members] have access to an instance. The NLS Restoration team is working to resolve some legal issues regarding the software and documentation. The goal is to make the Augment system available for download and also to have a publicly available instance of Augment available for the public to use.    (JM)

Can I have access to my own copy of Augment?    (JN)

We are not able to make Augment available for the general public yet due to legal issues.    (JO)

If you are interested in volunteering to assist us in technical work for the NLS Restoration project, you may be able to obtain a copy of NLS for project purposes. Please contact us if you are interested in helping out.    (JP)