Tuesday 11 May 2004 — This is 19 years old. Be careful.
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.
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.
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!
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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