Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Media are multi

Another interesting rumination from Paul Butzi. Leads me to think - paper media and electronic media are currently poles apart, maybe at odds with one another. But yet we want convergence, or at least translation: the ability to put together electronic files easily put to paper, or paper files readily turned into 1s and 0s.

The problem seems that those writing the standards are thinking in small boxes. Most mark-up is designed for online text, images are an after-thought. Printable structure is a whole other business. Yes, I realise there are fundamental differences in paper and screen display but there can be simple way to translate between the two even to the point of double-structureed files.

Much as I enjoy learning new stuff, I'm getting fed up of having to become an expert in various technologies just to get stuff done. it's one fo those things where the answer seems tangibly close yet just out of reach. For sure technology is moving on apace but I'm never satisfied when the answer seems tantilisingly close.


  1. Well, you always have LaTeX, which in theory should be able to do single source, multiple outputs. But it is a pain in the butt to use unless you're a real geek.
    Oh wait, you ARE a geek? My oh my. Come to think of it, I am one too :-)

    Good luck with rescuing your computer.

  2. I've seriously considered LaTeX a number of times, problem is finding the time to learn it properly. I've used it briefly and really like mark-up systems. Likewise with HTML to build a website.
    Sometimes I wish I was a student again so I'd have the time to get into all this.

  3. Re: Convergence Electronic media/Paper media (Hard copies).
    Maybe one day in the future it will be possible. Right now it seems to me that it is not working yet, there seem to be too many issues related to quality control in the print-on-demand business. You can have the perfect electronic file, but the hard part is to find a reliable printer/book binding partner that turns that electronic file into a quality book.
    Going the opposite way and turn a book into an electronic file that has been achieved already, robotic book scanners used by Google and others have been used in attempts to convert every book under the sun into searchable electronic files.

  4. 5Points: who said anything about POD? Let's start with readily accessible standards for moving from electronic to print in any form. I'm just as interested in a convertable form that will allow me to print to my own printer as through a publisher.


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