Ebooks suck for learning

On Twitter earlier I said this here thing:

> > There’s an implicit assumption in publishing commentary that the trajectory of media evolution (books, ebooks, websites, apps) is a known. That the long-term effects, drawbacks, & benefits of each medium will follow a predetermined path towards its manifest destiny. That ebook apps are as good as they'll ever be and will never integrate what research is discovering about learning and memory. That apps will always play the roles they play today. That websites will never reach beyond their current niche, except maybe into apps. > > > > These assumptions are all unsafe. Ebook apps are a young and unformed species. The future of web and app dev is dynamic and changing. > > > > What's more, the publishing industry isn't in charge of this evolution except insofar as it can sabotage ebooks with its misconceptions. > >

Wobbly Amazon

Breaking my blog silence for a thought

I remember two or three years ago at Frankfurt (I think it was three years ago, but not quite sure) trying to convince people that Amazon’s position wasn’t as strong as the industry thinks.

Problem statements for digital publishing research

The publishing industry has an absolute mess of unanswered questions that need further investigation if we are to solve its problems.

Here are a few relevant problem statements, off the top of my head. I’d be very surprised if these questions aren’t answerable with a bit of work.

HTML is too complex

(This is the ninth post in a series on the publishing industry’s new product categories.) The syntax of HTML and XML—angle brackets and closing elements—isn’t complex. It’s tedious, but it isn’t complex. If the problem lay in the basic syntax we’d have an easy time fixing it. The problem with markup complexity lies in the underlying model. Or, in the lack of one. Simply put, HTML is a mess. This is from an email sent by Matthew Thomas to the WhatWG mailing list (that list was at the time responsible for the development of HTML5) almost ten years ago.