November 8, 2019
Notes from #ReadingConf19
The conference Reading in a Digital Environment in Regensburg just ended, and I sat down in a café at Hauptbahnhof to write down some quick notes.
First of all, thanks to the organizers! I’ve met a lot of new people and attended some great sessions. And, of course, a lot of new questions popped up. Here are some quickly drafted notes.
Paper or display? As expected, this is the most frequently asked question.
September 16, 2019
Next-book’s open cloud
Next-book makes every book an application. Any reader can utilize all the perks of the open web platform in its current form — both owning the documents and using the power of the network.
The reading experience is more than just seeing the lines of text. It’s also using a comfortable device, returning to a book I left unfinished or sharing notes with a friend. A broader infrastructure is required to make such interactions possible.
July 11, 2019
WPUB and the future of digital publishing
Wow. On Monday last week, W3C’s Publishing Working Group decided to shelve the Web Publication’s spec draft (WPUB), citing little support from publishers and browser vendors. Working Group will focus on audiobooks where some traction is present.
We attempted standardization before experimentation and incubation. Clear business needs have been hard to find.
— Publishing WG Telco, 2019-07-01
WPUB intended to bring publishing to the open web. I’ve been observing the drafting process over the last two years and simultaneously (re)writing a comparison between WPUB and next-book, a cute octopus-shaped project I’ve been working on.
November 3, 2018
Next-book: browser as a natural environment for e-reading
Many people have happy memories of reading their favorite book. So of course, let’s focus on that man on the right, reading on his blackberry.
This talk is consciously written as an answer to a big problem. And of course, I’m kinda humbled by the size of it. But of course, I’ll tell you what I believe is the right solution.
People say that e-books are in a crisis. The Guardian is running a weekly column just to repeat that fact.
June 21, 2017
Talkin' bout pagination and digital books
When you think of a book as of an object, you may find that pagination is its nature. It defines how one interacts with a book. It becomes the central affordance of a book.
[Book] came to replace the scroll thanks to several problems that limited the scroll’s function and readability. For one, scrolls were very long, sometimes as long as ten meters. This made them hard to hold open and read, a difficulty not helped by the fact that most scrolls in that era were read horizontally, instead of vertically as scrolling virtual documents are read now.
May 21, 2017
Big Early-web Innovations
Big early-web innovations (between 1990 and 2030) always sat on a pile of something to eat, or rather to drink. This pile was “free” as in “free beer”, not as in “free speech” — deriving its validity from inequalities in bargaining powers (then widely accepted argument). Few examples to begin with:
Search <= Big pile of static content in the open web. Smartphone <= Big pile of interactive content on the open web.
April 12, 2017
The Next Book
I have worked with Ivana Lukeš Rybanská from publishing house Nová Beseda since last year on their digital edition. Well, I finally feel like there’s enough puzzle pieces glued together to speak up about it. And yes, we glued the pieces together to form a ball.
Digital books cannot be similar to printed ones as much as printed books do not resemble carved stones. Amazon and most of the EPUB crowd are trying to preserve familiar format and market.
March 13, 2017
On Returning Or What Do I Do Now
Returning is a shame. Maybe you spent all your money and fed the pigs for shelter or maybe you just took the wrong subway exit. All these knowing faces around, they know you went astray.
To return is to admit your choice was bad and choosing badly proves that nothing ever can turn out well as there are too many choices involved. Applying your will erroneously makes you seem human — and that’s especially unforgivable in the undiscardable reality of the web.
July 6, 2015
Two-pane markdown editors stink
Having a still-on preview window is like constantly printing on paper to make yourself feel comfy in MS Word. Or running code all the time just to check the program does what you need from it. All those examples should feel outdated.
Good markdown editor
does not require a preview window to make writer feel comfortable frees writer from thinking about the publishing details prevents typing errors & provides guidance towards best practices makes writing markdown easy for beginners provides help when markdown isn’t easy to use (e.
June 26, 2015
I’d like to write an article. Note: I use a computer.
The way we write these days is a nonsense. We write our articles, books and other stuff in software that shows faux paper pages. Word processors show us the paper that never gets printed in the way it is shown.
If I want to print it for myself only, it does not matter much exactly how it looks on paper. Ideally it should look nice without much energy spent on making it nice.
June 5, 2015
PDF is not the future
When publishing an article online these days, you go for a HTML page for the “not-so-serious-stuff” or for a downloadable PDF when it comes to the “oh-gosh-serious-stuff“. You want control over the result and PDF is rock-solid. Or is it?
Have you read a PDF on a Kindle or small tablet? Users tend to display it on the sideways rotated device, always viewing only a part of a page. Reader’s flow of the text changes considerably even though the file looks similarly.
November 18, 2014
How to be wrong (for beginners)
Being wrong is quite easy, though it requires some effort—at first. This short introduction may help you to overcome some of the initial hurdles.
Let’s start with the easiest part: just say something. Look around you, watch things and people move and talk. Say something about the things and people you see around you.
Next comes the tricky part. Say something while someone else stands close to you — in other words, so that they can hear you saying it.
February 27, 2014
We all should wear alarm clocks
What makes you mad? I don’t actually want to know that, but I’ll tell you about my recent experience. I feel pain looking at this:
They proudly say “this is our smart watch”. I’ve never had a conversation with it, therefore I don’t know about it being “smart”, but it definitely seems to be a wristwatch — albeit sort of gargantuan. Also, I think it’s not very smart to recreate something people use for centuries with the latest tech.
September 25, 2013
Thoughts left in my head after #sxc13
I've really enjoyed the Service Experience Camp (or more fashionably #sxc13) in Berlin. Combination of barcamp and traditional conference, full of inspiring people, set in an interesting The WYE space, with a great Kitchensurfing lunch, friendly and responsive organizers and so on and on. Filled with people of very diverse backgrounds, which were frequently exposed in the discussions (and that's great!). The fact that I enjoyed the most was that people there weren't only surfing on the currently striving buzzword — they were actually thinking pretty deeply about it.