March 12, 1964
To: Addressees Attached
We are organizing an informal, oneday symposium on the subject of computeraided text manipulation We plan it for April 13 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 pm. here in Menlo Park. This is at the suggestion of Dr. Licklider and is planned to include representatives from each of his ARPAsupported contractors, but will also include other workers who are currently involved in a significant manner with the problem.
To describe the topic area in a bit more detail, let me say that we consider "text manipulation" to include manipulation of programming statements and mathematical equations, but not of pictorial or graphical information. Also, we include the manipulations at the character, statement or displayframe size, but not those at the larger file or database sizeunless perhaps these constraints prove to be too limiting. Fair game for discussionhardware I/O devices, command repertoire, human procedures, and system needs for textmanipulation processes.
We initially called a number of West Coast people we knew had strong interests in the subject of the symposium. Arthur Rosenberg (SDC) and John McCarthy (Stanford) are both enthusiastic and plan to attend. SDC has lately developed a firstpass textmanipulating system to specifications set by Art, and he is getting set to specify and implement a more expansive system, John has several graduate students developing textmanipulating systems and promises to goad them into describing and demonstrating some of their work. Dale Evans of UCBerkeley will have a representative here who is responsible for implementing a textmanipulation subsystem for their online stations; Norman Hardy (UC Radiation Lab, Livermore), who will be setting specifications and guiding the implementation for text manipulation on their Octopus system, will be coming. Glen Culler (RamoWooldridge) says that he will come. Bill Kehl from the University of Pittsburgh visited us recently, and is eager to send a representative who has been responsible for developing their NaturalText Processing Language. And, we have our own initial textmanipulating processes to describe and demonstrate.
By means of this letter we would like to invite others in the timesharing and realtimeuser community to join with the enthusiastic participants already lined up. We prefer that only one representative from each activity participates in order to keep the size of the group down; also we feel it necessary to limit attendance to those who are associated with the text editing problem at a working leveldetailed specification, implementation, or extensive and detailed evaluation. Please send me your response by March 25 so that we may make appropriate plans for the day's activities.
We don't want to overorganize the day, but we will probably have at least as formal a beginning as is required to elicit brief and relevant descriptions from each represented organization of its activity and plans in the subject area. We may also try breaking the day's discussions into topic areas, invite kickoff talks and discussion monitoring from different people, but this we will wait to organize until the composition and interest of the group becomes better known.
D. C. Engelbart
List of Invited Participants (and Organizations) for TextManipulating Symposium at Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California, April 13, 1964: