Read print

Tuesday 11 May 2004

I’ve always admired the nobility of Project Gutenberg, which aims to make public domain books available electronically. But it’s always suffered from cosmetic issues: the web site looks very 1996, and the books themselves are often just text files (and those that are HTML versions have an odd every-other-paragraph-is-bold thing going on).

Read Print has similar goals, but a better designer. The site feels clean and light, and the books seem inviting rather than cramped. They have nowhere near the number of titles that Gutenberg does, but lets hope that the two can work together to bring the best of both sites together.

Comments

[gravatar]
oier 10:11 AM on 11 May 2004

A redesign contest for the gutenberg page can be located here

[gravatar]
Blues 12:36 AM on 12 May 2004

If anyone reading is interested in Project Gutenberg, why not check out PG Distributed Proofreaders, an easy way to volunteer spare moments to help produce higher-quality texts (and HTML versions!)

As a brief note on why PG keeps things plain-vanilla as far as the actual texts go--the PG philosophy is to allow readers to use their own browser defaults to style pages in a way that works for them. As far as accessibility goes, it's our best shot (so far) at addressing basic browsers.

Anyone's free to volunteer and offer new suggestions for better solutions. :) We'd love to hear from you.

[gravatar]
JHutch 7:06 AM on 12 May 2004

As far as Read Print is concerned... Those *are* PG texts. The text has just been hand-reformatted for HTML and chapter divisions.

And at PG, we are definitely moving towards a better markup scheme. Already, many texts that are produced by Distributed Proofeaders are being produced in HTML and text. And it is good HTML, not the automated, ugly stuff with the alternating regular/boldface paragraphs.

Come give us a hand in shaping the future of online e-texts!

http://www.pgdp.net/

[gravatar]
Damien Katz 3:40 PM on 12 May 2004

Why are the paragraghs alternating? I searched the faq but couldn't find an answer. I even asked google. I'd bet that's an very Frequently Asked Question.

[gravatar]
Ned Batchelder 9:16 PM on 13 May 2004

I assumed it was a misguided attempt at giving your eye some milestones to help keep your place as you scroll.

[gravatar]
Jessica 1:22 AM on 14 May 2004

JHutch,

I've checked with the creators of Read Print before... their texts are *NOT* PG texts. PG isn't one of their sources. Plus voluntees manually format the works they currently have.

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