[Foundation-l] iBooks vs. wBooks?

Gregory Varnum gregory.varnum at gmail.com
Fri Jan 20 23:22:17 UTC 2012

I tend to agree - I also think these tools present new opportunities for how to create program guides for events like Wikimania that transform into conference yearbooks by including videos from the event in the weeks following.  Perhaps releasing a developer handbook that updates every month or so (or maybe when a new version is released) to help with those education/outreach efforts, etc.  Having a wBook open on my iPad with videos, audio, slides and documentation on how to use something like ResourceLoader would be very cool and helpful.

In general, I agree these tools help set standards for interactive e-books (especially e-textbooks) supported by HTML5 that - while initially geared towards Apple platforms - is done in a way they will no doubt be made available and replicated on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, etc. pretty quick.

If this latest development means that education publications are transformed in the way that music was transformed by iTunes - I think it would be wise to investigate ways to utilize - or at least support - these new standards and tools.

-greg aka varnent

Gregory Varnum
Lead, Aequalitas Project
Lead Administrator, WikiQueer
Founding Principal, VarnEnt

On Jan 20, 2012, at 11:23 AM, Dirk Franke wrote:

> Yeah!
> regards,
> southpark
> On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM, Magnus Manske <magnusmanske at googlemail.com
>> wrote:
>> (This mail is focused on books, but the topic is of more general
>> interest IMHO, thus foundation-l)
>> Hi all,
>> I just saw the "iBooks Author" news:
>> http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/19/a-closer-look-at-ibooks-author-textbooks-and-exclusivity/
>> Of course, all these pretty books will be only available in the Apple
>> paywalled garden.
>> So I thought: As they use basically HTML5 (plus a few proprietary
>> libraries), could we produce such interactive, tablet/phone-enabled
>> e-books ("wBooks" as in "Wikimedia":-) from free content? I believe
>> the answer is yes, though it might be quite a push technologically
>> (just to be clear, I am speaking of the books here, not of the
>> authoring software).
>> Also: Should we? I believe the answer is yes as well, for two reasons.
>> One, Apples work here might (yet again) set a new standard, which
>> means everything falling short of that standard will be neglected by
>> the target audience, which runs counter to our declared goal of
>> disseminating free knowledge; standing still might well mean falling
>> behind. Another reason is the opportunity that Apple creates for us
>> here: Once such e-books become accepted as general teaching tools in
>> schools, it will be much easier to switch from Apple-only, costly
>> books to run-everywhere, free books; they might just win the
>> "technology battle" for us.
>> What do you think?
>> Cheers,
>> Magnus
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