Accesibility and pdf format

October 16, 2008

Lluís Codina, professor of Pompeu Fabra University, is a colleague and friend of mine. He has a lot of articles on documentation, evaluation of web sites, e-books and some other subjects. One of them is cyberjournalism.

One of his latest articles is about the real accesibility of pdf format in online newspapers. Along with Ramón Voces, he has published an article on a Spanish ISI Journal, El profesional de la información. As a conclusion: most of the Spanish online newspapers have a pdf version, but almost half of them (47 per cent) use an old version. The rest of the, 52,2%, use a modern version of the software but do not mark the document. None of the newspaper analysed can be considered accesible.

Web accesibility, explain the authors, “is not limited nor to web pages or xhtml format”, and “potential accessibility is not real accessibility”.

Dr. Lluís Codina is responsible for Hypertext.net e-journal, co-editor of a weblog on digital documentation, and coordinator of DigiDoc Research Group.

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E-paper and digital books

October 15, 2008

The digital book will surpass the paper production in 2018, says a major survey conducted by the Frankfurt Book Fair. The main conclusions of the survey answered by 1.000 professionals of 30 countries are:

• China’s digital influence in international publishing predicted to increase threefold in next five years
• Consumers, Amazon, Google believed to drive the digitization process
• E-content will overtake traditional books in sales by 2018
• Online bookselling named as most important development of the past 60 years

Most of the people interviewed for the survey think that they are ready for the digital change, but, at the same time, 60 per cent is not currently using any kind of e-book device. And only 22 per cent of the respondents think that consumers are leading the move towards digitisation, and the same percentage of people feel that partnership is to be prepared mainly with mobile devices manufacturers –and only 2 per cent feel that authors are doing something.

Anyway, as the survey says, 60 per cent of the publishers are not even thinking about publishing some book in digital format, and only 5 per cent of them think that e-book will bring some profit in five years.

There are some exceptions: Paulo Coelho, one of the greatest best seller authors all over the world, receives the homage of the Frankfurt Book Fair. He offers in his website some text in pdf format, including some translations (but not the original Portuguese text) of his most popular book, The Alchemist. As Coelho explained in the Fair, during 15 centuries, the book [the paper] has been invincible, but digital books are claiming for some room.

Is there happening which happened with photographs and film?