Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 18:52 UTC
In the News News Corp. has just announced its iPad-only newspaper The Daily will be closed down. What do you know, a platform-specific publication fails in the internet era. I totally did not see this coming at all. Times are changing, people. Platform-specific is so 2007.
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RE[3]: Almost completely wrong
by shmerl on Tue 4th Dec 2012 06:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Almost completely wrong"
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

they've been trying to support Android for a year

I really don't get the point of "supporting a platform" for publishing purposes altogether. Isn't there such thing as PDF (Portable Document Format). That's it - platform issues solved. Sometimes people really jump over their heads to create imaginary problems for themselves.

Edited 2012-12-04 06:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

they've been trying to support Android for a year

I really don't get the point of "supporting a platform" for publishing purposes altogether. Isn't there such thing as PDF (Portable Document Format). That's it - platform issues solved. Sometimes people really jump over their heads to create imaginary problems for themselves.


The "portable" in PDF doesn't mean "portable" in the context you're describing.

PDF used to be a closed format (and even now, it's still proprietary). The point of PDFs wasn't that they could be read by any device. The point was a document format that would retain it's exact formatting when migrated from platform to platform (which used to be a major problem for the press industry). Thus PDFs would embed fonts and do other such tricks which, back then, were less common. It meant that rendered documents would be as "portable" as a printed page with it's formatting retained (which was the point; so that mastered documents could be shared).

This is also why PDFs are typically considered read only (they're not, you can get editors, but the point of PDFs was they're the finalised product so were not designed to be edited) and why PDFs aren't always great for accessibility (eg text doesn't wrap when zooming, like in HTML).

"Portable" in the context you're using would better served with open specifications, which I know PDF technically is these days, but the accessibility features alone makes HTML a better fit.

In fact, HTML may have many sins these days with people building entire "web apps" and such like. But the primary goal of HTML was an open document mark up for distributing text-based content; which is precisely the specification for a newspaper. So despite HTML's many faults, I genuinely cannot think of a better format to encode such publications.

Edited 2012-12-04 13:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

When publishers distribute their books / magazines / newspapers, they are usually in read-only format anyway, unless it's some really unusual interactive publication or something. So PDF is a good fit.

PDF is not proprietary for a while already:

While Adobe Systems made the PDF specification available free of charge in 1993, PDF remained a proprietary format, controlled by Adobe, until it was officially released as an open standard on July 1, 2008, and published by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO 32000-1:2008. In 2008, Adobe published a Public Patent License to ISO 32000-1 granting royalty-free rights for all patents owned by Adobe that are necessary to make, use, sell and distribute PDF compliant implementations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format


There are other good formats for publishing - DjVu for example and etc. The point was that they are not tied to one particular system.

Edited 2012-12-04 16:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Almost completely wrong
by zima on Sat 8th Dec 2012 11:33 in reply to "RE[4]: Almost completely wrong"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But the primary goal of HTML was an open document mark up for distributing text-based content; which is precisely the specification for a newspaper.

I believe at the beginning HTML was used for implementing a CERN phone directory, for the benefit of physicists? ;p
Still, phonebook has similar specification.

Reply Parent Score: 2