Re: Why we'll never be paperles

Subject: Re: Why we'll never be paperles
From: Ed Hoornaert <Ed -dot- Hoornaert -at- VENTANA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 10:25:25 -0700

At last October's Sigdoc conference, a speaker from Xerox talked about
this issue. His thesis was that the book paradigm, invented in present
format by Aldus, has had hundreds of years to be honed and perfected.
Our paradigm for electronic documentation hasn't had anywhere near the
same amount of time to mature.

As one who regularly gets lost in Help hyperspace and has struggled with
the problems of creating easily usable hypertext, I have to agree. We're
trying, of course; and maybe one of you reading this is the next Aldus.
In any case, Xerox envisions something like a page reader, with
approximately the same portability as a paperback, which can have
different documents loaded and read in some sort of highly refined and
sophisticated interface (in human, not computer, terms). Only then, in
the speaker's view, will electronic docs make more serious inroads into
the use of books.

In other words, it isn't just the computer hardware that may make what we
produce now obsolete. It's the entire human-electronic interface that
may change (imagine, for example, plugging the internet directly into
your brain). Until then, we're likely to use paper.

Ed -dot- Hoornaert -at- Ventana -dot- com

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