i posted this to another mailing list, on electronic books. i'm cc:ing it here because i talked about you guys... -bowerbird --------------------- Forwarded message: From: Bowerbird@... Sender: owner-ebook-list@... Reply-to: ebook-list@... To: ebook-list@... CC: Bowerbird@... Date: 97-12-17 05:20:23 EST i said: > > the big software companies could > > knock out a program like this in weeks. > > but they won't. and eric said: > big company = MICROSOFT > program = web browser for any HTML files, even FrontPage's 1. sorry, but i just can't think of an "electronic book" as a whole bunch of *.html, *.gif, *.jpeg, *.qt, and *.aiff files. (or whatever the alphabet soup of the day is...) rather, that's just an unbound sheaf of electronic papers. but _binding_ is _the_ thing that _makes_ a book out of a sheaf. 2. and a browser interface is _not_ an electronic book interface. (not by 9 miles, and that's the north sea out there, not some pond...) to me, an "electronic book" has to be a _single_ file, a double-clickable standalone executeable. and, hey! that's what the original questioner was asking for -- a simple program to tie together some text and some pictures (and some sounds, too, if i remember correctly), and then turn it all into a program that the end-user would simply run. ("oh, yeah, and it should be cross-platform, too...") that is the program the person is looking for. that is the program the person can't find. that is the program the big companies have not created. (and there's lots of big companies besides microsoft.) a simple program like that is what 90% of us want. a simple program like that is what we'll use for 90% of our needs. a simple program like that is what will revolutionize people's thinking about electronic books. *** i do programming, and i have written a simple program like that, named "breeze". "breeze" allows you to put together an e-book with styled text, graphics, sounds, and quicktime movies, as well as interactivity. interactivity is achieved by making "hot-spot buttons" that are set to do a certain thing when the user mouse-clicks them, such as go to the next page, show a picture, play a sound or movie, etc. (currently, there are about 20 different actions you can select.) breeze has lots of other neat capabilities that make it valuable. one of my favorites is drag-and-drop creation, where you just drop text and picture files on it and it assembles them into an e-book. breeze itself is just 333k, so that's the minimum size of your e-book, a small size that means fast modeming (and distribution via diskette). further, it needs just 747k of memory, and executes on old computers, so it runs even on the antiquated machinery we use to teach our kids, not just the state-of-the-art we use in our money-making enterprises. but one of the best things about breeze is undoubtedly the price -- $19.98. it is a mac-only product, so it's not the x-plat solution we all want. but, as i said earlier, the big companies aren't giving us that solution. and i can only infer that they are disinclined to. and i wonder why not. and then i remember the punk ethic and i go do it myself. i, at least, have given you a product to produce your mac-side e-books easily, quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively, on low-end machinery. so chalk one up for a guy in a garage (well, my girlfriend's spare room...), who's developed something the big guys wouldn't, at a price they couldn't, on machinery they threw out many years ago -- a mac ii with a 68020 chip. (oh... i owe a great deal of credit for this to the compiler i use -- "futurebasic" from the people at <http://www.stazsoftware.com> -- which i just cannot recommend highly enough, since it gives _professional-level_power_with_the_simplicity_of_basic_. futurebasic compiles what i call "mammal software" -- programs which are small and fast and frugal -- as opposed to all that bloated "dinosaur software" out there. bundled with futurebasic is an abundance of pre-written code, and there's an active mailing list of futurebasic programmers who are smart, experienced, friendly, and who like to help. so this is the program to buy if you want to learn how to program, or if your kid does... or your students... it even runs on old machines!) anyway, i've just gone golden on a new version of breeze (0.4!), and, as you can see, i'm quite proud of my baby. thanks for listening to me brag. have a cigar, boy... we call it riding the gravy train... -bowerbird bowerbird@... ----------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for using EBOOK-List, Discussion on Electronic Books Post Message: ebook-list@... Get Commands: majordomo@... "help" Administrator: noring@... Unsubscribe: majordomo@... "unsubscribe ebook-list"