Realizing the potential of digital books
Who would think that replacing paper thinking with digital networked thinking would be so hard? Well, McLuhan would.
On one hand it’s simple – just use open web for book publishing! on the other, there’ll probably be some PDFs in your VR pants’ pockets. (Uh, pockets too, uh!) Let’s try to push for a better future of reading.
Next-book is not only an idea or pieces of code, it should be a place to discuss and a community to work together, too.
- 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.
- 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.