Much of the last week was spent researching the new HTML and ePub standards that will make newquill possible. We discovered a dizzying array of websites, documents, and protocols describing new features of both HTML5 and ePub3. The process was a bit disconcerting- it turns out that HTML5 displays differently in all the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer) and that although ePub3 allows scripting, there is no guarantee that the scripting will function similarly on the major eBook Readers (iBooks, Kindle, NOOK, and Sony Reader). A moment of sanity was found, however, at threepress.org, an eBook consulting group that has posted a number of informative videos about the current state of interactivity in ePub documents. While the group allows that eBook standards are not solidified as yet, it seems reasonably confident that eBook technology is on the verge of a major breakthrough- the kind of breakthrough that will redefine what it means to engage with a text.
This weekend I stumbled across an electronic copy of a very beautiful book written in 1913, La prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France by Sonia Delaunay and Blaise Cendrars, which was one of the first collaborative “artists’ books.” How cool would it be if multimedia artists could interact in a similar manner within the space of an eBook!