Mark Bernstein of Eastgate Systems, Inc., is the designer of Tinderbox: https://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/
Join Mark as he turns back the clock to examine some early Tools For Thought, and the people who created them. There’s quite a lot to learn from both, as well as a research literature that repays study.
The infinite canvas as a thinking space now has a long history, but few of the early systems are well known. I think some of them might be worth a brief look, in terms of the ideas they brought forward and in terms of the tasks they sought to address. For example:
Sketchpad: Ivan Sutherland’s system from the 1960 kicked off interactive computer graphics AND object-oriented programming.
NLS/Augment: Doug Engelbart’s original outliner, the first system that explicitly sought to be a tool for thought.
Xanadu: Ted Nelson’s early proposal for a hypertext docuverse.
Storyspace: the first system intended for non-sequential narrative. Introduced in 1987 and still in use today.
Intermedia: a platform for digital pedagogy, developed at Brown and BBN.
KMS: a hypertext system for technical documentation, the source of Akscyn’s Law
Microcosm: A hypertext system based chiefly on contextual links, the ancestor of all sculptural hypertext.
Aquanet: the 1990 system from Halasz, Trigg, and Marshall at Xerox PARC, described as a tool to hold your knowledge in place.
VIKI: the first spatial hypertext system, designed by Cathy Marshall as a reaction to Aquanet and the start of an enormously influential line of research