20 things I Learned
Is the future of e-books in the browser? This work for Google by Fi is pretty impressive.
While the content may be important, and the illustrations are rather cute…and the technology behind the project is interesting, the typesetting is pretty bad (I expect more from a heavy-hitter like Google). There are numerous instances of justified type that is full of awkward gaps; I’m not sure if that is controllable or not (within the coding)—if it is not, then why use an e-book to communicate this information? (It would be more readable as a standard, scrollable webpage.) Also, I think they were a bit too loose with adherence to a grid…some variance is fine, but a lot of those line lengths are too long…and I perceive a lack of unity to many of the text-only layouts.
So we go back to the age-old (or at least a generation-old) lament about tools/tech/skill. It doesn’t matter how much technology one has, or how access to tools and publishing democratizes a field. If the skill and/or care is not there to create something “good” (if not great), then it will largely serve to annoy and frustrate those of us that care.
Other than using an iPad, I’ve not once been sold on the notion of replicating the analog (page turning-based) reading experience electronically. Turning the pages of a physical book or magazine is integral to the form. I’ve not once experienced “page-turning” on a desktop/laptop that doesn’t seem clumsy and unnecessary.
Nov 25, 2010