Why xxx?

This afternoon, on February 2, 1999, after very interesting discussions with Paul Ginsparg (T-8, Theoretical Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory) in his office about his celebrated xxx.lanl.gov e-Print archive, I could not help asking the question about the origin of xxx in the web site domain name. Here is the answer that he does not mind to be put on the web. While editing files, he found xxx was a great choice to mark places where changes needed to be made. Indeed, this is a nice trick. Later he used xxx to name his famous machine. That was back to 1991. "I did not realize that I made such a gigantic mistake", he added, but I could not get any sense of regret either from his voice or his smile. Nevertheless, he has registered the domain name arXiv.org for the future home of the xxx e-Print archive.

Several days ago, I heard from James M. Hyman (T-7, Theoretical Division) that Los Alamos National Laboratory will make a marvelous use of the xxx.lanl.gov address. When any Laboratory employee incidently hits a site that is not appropriate, he or she will automatically be redirected to the xxx.lanl.gov archive site without getting into trouble.

Thanks to Paul Ginsparg, by all means.

Noted by Bill Chen