Re: Web neurons

John Middlemas (
Sun, 26 May 1996 22:53:53 +0100

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 22:53:53 +0100
To: (Len Bullard)
From: (John Middlemas)
Subject: RE: Web neurons
Cc: "" <>,

>>>What you're proposing is not HTML. HTML is about delivering pages of content
>>>for presentation. 
>>Whatever HTML is about can be changed (but probably won't be). 
>There will be alternatives, hopefully, compatible with HTML.
>Check out and look for a language
>called Metafile for Interactive Documents of MID. 

I had a quick look at this, it is quite involved, but seems promising.

>It uses chains of infoContainers as state machines for navigation
>of database content.  The link traversals are gosub, goto, spawn and get.

I think the database content you refer to is the pages out of a technical
manual. The goto looked like my FIRE command at first but there doesn't seem
to be the possibility of transferring INPUTS from one page to another. This
would be essential since Web neurons woudld communicate in complex networks
via variable inputs and outputs. Also I am not sure if MID could run a page
purely for code reasons without displaying it. This too would be essential
because fast code only, programming Webs, must be integrated with everyday

What is the equivalent of the URL in MID?

>The links can be strongly typed and are n-way.  These links
>can be powerful because semantics can be assigned and
>used in functions, expressions, and xenoforms
>for calls to externals.   

Don't understand all this but calls to externals would not be necessary if
networks of richly connected Web neurons with small amounts of standard
internal code were used instead. Any external function could be performed by
these, which are also capable of modelling any n-dimensional curved space

What I am really saying is that I believe the concept of Web neurons (which
is actually very simple) could be applied at all levels of computing, from
the way we build the hardware right up to the top application level and
indeed it is installed at the highest level of all - the brain. 

If one simple system is used throughout then the average man might just
understand computers (and even be able to program them).

>It was created as a client language
>for long lifecycle behaviors (e.g, technical information).
>MID was designed to be interpreted or used as an
>intermediate transport language.  It is verbose but
>it was meant to be human readable and reasonable
>to teach to humans. 

I think it has possibilities, and seems more advanced than HTML. It doesn't
really matter how you do it as long as there are no dead end blocks to stop
it working. I don't think there are with HTML. The biggest problem may be
altering server URL handler software.

>Libraries can be built using SGML general entities 
>and catalogs.  It is ISO 8879 and ISO 10744 conforming.  
>I realize that cuts little ice in the Web worlds, but this 
>wasn't designed for the web or HTTP although it could 
>work in that environment.  Three working prototypes exist with
>the last built under the MS MFC.   The US Navy designed
>it but it is an open specification.

Is anybody planning to bring it to the Web?

Thanks for your reply,

John Middlemas