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Sophie 2 Overview 2
 

Sophie 2 Overview 2

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  • Since Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in the 1440s, books have remained relatively static. New media offers new potentials for the book to become, literally, a meeting space for discussion, debate, annotation and more. Networked connectivity makes this spatial component even more viable. Further, we now communicate not merely with text and designed text, but through images, video, audio, linking and the sophisticated design of communication. However, the ability to design multimedia texts has remained within the province of those with design expertise, and the ability to program or use difficult software applications. How might that change? Bob Stein tackled this question beginning in the late 1980s, when, as the co-founder of The Voyager Company, perhaps best known for the Criterion Collection of annotated film releases, he began to develop his concept of the “expanded book” which would rethink the book in the digital age.
  • Since Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in the 1440s, books have remained relatively static. New media offers new potentials for the book to become, literally, a meeting space for discussion, debate, annotation and more. Networked connectivity makes this spatial component even more viable. Further, we now communicate not merely with text and designed text, but through images, video, audio, linking and the sophisticated design of communication. However, the ability to design multimedia texts has remained within the province of those with design expertise, and the ability to program or use difficult software applications. How might that change? Bob Stein tackled this question beginning in the late 1980s, when, as the co-founder of The Voyager Company, perhaps best known for the Criterion Collection of annotated film releases, he began to develop his concept of the “expanded book” which would rethink the book in the digital age.
  • Since Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in the 1440s, books have remained relatively static. New media offers new potentials for the book to become, literally, a meeting space for discussion, debate, annotation and more. Networked connectivity makes this spatial component even more viable. Further, we now communicate not merely with text and designed text, but through images, video, audio, linking and the sophisticated design of communication. However, the ability to design multimedia texts has remained within the province of those with design expertise, and the ability to program or use difficult software applications. How might that change? Bob Stein tackled this question beginning in the late 1980s, when, as the co-founder of The Voyager Company, perhaps best known for the Criterion Collection of annotated film releases, he began to develop his concept of the “expanded book” which would rethink the book in the digital age.
  • Since Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in the 1440s, books have remained relatively static. New media offers new potentials for the book to become, literally, a meeting space for discussion, debate, annotation and more. Networked connectivity makes this spatial component even more viable. Further, we now communicate not merely with text and designed text, but through images, video, audio, linking and the sophisticated design of communication. However, the ability to design multimedia texts has remained within the province of those with design expertise, and the ability to program or use difficult software applications. How might that change? Bob Stein tackled this question beginning in the late 1980s, when, as the co-founder of The Voyager Company, perhaps best known for the Criterion Collection of annotated film releases, he began to develop his concept of the “expanded book” which would rethink the book in the digital age.
  • Books have remained relatively static as objects for hundreds of years. New media offers new potentials for the book to become, literally, a meeting space for discussion, debate, annotation and more. Networked connectivity makes this spatial component even more viable. Further, we now communicate not merely with text and designed text, but through images, video, audio, linking and the sophisticated design of communication. However, the ability to design multimedia texts has remained within the province of those with design expertise, and the ability to program or use difficult software applications. How might that change? Bob Stein tackled this question beginning in the late 1980s, when, as the co-founder of The Voyager Company, perhaps best known for the Criterion Collection of annotated film releases, he began to develop his concept of the “expanded book” which would rethink the book in the digital age.
  • Under Bob Stein, the Voyager Company began to create “expanded books” in 1991, which allowed people to explore books in a richer fashion with search functionality, annotations and easy navigation. The first titles included The Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Complete Annotated Alice , and Jurassic Park. The following year, Voyager released the Expanded Books Toolkit, which allowed users to annotate and cross-reference parts of their own texts. The second trio of books released as expanded books included Marge Piercy's Gone to Soldiers , Susan Faludi's Backlash and what Stein calls a “double-feature" uniting Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World . These projects were programmed in HyperCard. Night Kitchen, founded in 1996, continued to explore electronic books and developed TK3, which stands for “Toolkit 3” and allowed users to unite text, images, sounds and video without programming experience. Like Sophie, TK3 features an Author tool and Reader. People greeted TK3 with great enthusiasm, with the Institute for the Future’s Paul Saffo saying in Publisher’s Weekly, "The buzz reminds me of the excitement when PageMaker arrived on the scene and launched the desktop-publishing phenomenon.” (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/415686-Night_Kitchen_Offers_Multimedia_Authoring_Tool.php) Sophie emerged from TK3, and with funding from the Mellon Foundation and oversight by Bob Stein, who had become director of the Institute for the Future of the Book the software, took shape between 2006 and 2008, with programming in Squeak; in 2009, Sophie was rewritten in Java, and re-released in a series of beta versions between October 2009 and January 2010.
  • Stein’s vision has from the start been dedicated to democratizing the process of media-rich authoring.
  • Stein’s vision has from the start been dedicated to democratizing the process of media-rich authoring.
  • Similarly, Stein’s interest has also centered on creating a software that allows writers to fundamentally reconceptualize the compositional process. Thus, while Sophie certainly allows writers to “aggregate” a group of disparate materials, perhaps the more exciting activity comes in truly reimagining how those elements might be synthesized to create a new experience.
  • Finally, key to Stein’s understanding of these software applications has been the transformative potential of networked communication, when the activities of reading, writing, annotating and more become shared, communal acts.
  • There are three main parts of the Sophie interface: the book desktop , the left flap , and the right flap . Flaps are the things that stick out on the left and right side of the Sophie window; you can adjust the size of the flaps by dragging the margins back and forth. Each flap has several tabs in it, which can be selected by clicking the tab name. Most tabs contain more than one palette. Palettes can be lists of things used in Sophie (like all the movies in a book) or tools (like the spellchecker). The content of flaps, tabs, and palettes can be hidden by clicking the title of the flap, tab, or palette. The timeline flap , which is hidden in the screenshot above, can be opened to show the timeline workspace . The leftmost tab in the book tab bar above the book desktop will minimize all open books and show the book desktop behind them. A tab will appear next to this Book Desktop button for every book that is open in Sophie; in this screenshot, "My New Book" is open. If you click on the "Show Preview" button in the status bar of a book window, a preview of the book will be generated; it will have its own tab in the tab bar (with a name like "Preview of My New Book"), and you can switch back and forth between the book and its preview. Sophie has menu bars, but they’re not used as often as the flaps or halos and HUDs. When Sophie is running on a Mac, the menu bars appear in the usual place - at the top of the screen - rather than at the top of the Sophie window. Most elements of Sophie's interface have tool tips: if you leave your mouse over something, text will appear to tell you what it is called and possibly what it does.
  • When the page itself is clicked, the page halos appear. At the bottom right corner is the book resize handle ; this can be dragged back and forth to change the size of the book page. (This can also be accomplished by choosing File > Book Properties from the menu bars.) At the top right corner are four halos: the page appearance halo , save page as template halo , the page link halo , and the page timeline halo . Appearance: These controls allow you to set the page's border and background properties. Different types of background can be chosen via the drop-down menu in the Background section. Clicking on the color squares next to the border width or when the background type is set to solid will open up the color picker, allowing you to choose a color for the border or background. You can select a color by clicking somewhere on the color spectrum, or by entering a color value in hex or decimal. The A values are for alpha, which is image transparency; setting this to 0 makes the color completely transparent, while setting it to FF (hex) or 255 (decimal) makes the color completely opaque. If you click the Save button, the color you've selected will be saved in one of the ten squares beneath the color spectrum; you can use these saved colors by clicking on them anywhere you use the color picker. Why does Sophie use HUDs and Halos? The short answer is that we wanted the user always to have pertinent functionality close at hand. There's a long history of user interface design - the basic idea is that the user always has the functionality close at hand. The basic idea is to make things as easy to find as possible. Sophie I used Huds and halos almost exclusively; the idea comes from Alan Kay and e-toys and making computers easy for children to use; the central idea in a lot of the MediaLab work in the early 80s but computers weren't able to handle them. Other computer interfaces have developed out of sync with computer advances   Some of the problem for people who face Sophie is that they don't quite know how to think about it - we tend to think of it as a rougher version of Quark, InDesign, or PowerPoint - it's like a lot of things, but I think a better way to think of it is as Flash but for non-programmers; people can create complex documents without knowing programming.   E-book - when people think of an e-books, they think of something far more limited.
  • Find short video tutorials at sophieccommons.blip.tv/
  • One of the best ways to learn how to use Sophie is to work through each demo book tutorial, step-by-step. This particular book shows twenty pages from Frans Masereel’s Die Stadt , a Belgian novel without words from 1925. It is constructed entirely from images. Click on each image to turn to the next page. To learn how to build this book, click here .

Sophie 2 Overview 2 Sophie 2 Overview 2 Presentation Transcript

  • software for reading &writing networked books
  • WHAT IS SOPHIE’S FOUNDATION?
  • The book has remained relatively static as a form for hundreds of years.
  • The book has remained relatively static as a form for hundreds of years. Books have always been “spaces” where readers and writers meet.
  • The book has remained relatively static as a form for hundreds of years. Books have always been “spaces” where readers and writers meet. New media concretizes this metaphor, creating overt spaces for interaction.
  • The book has remained relatively static as a form for hundreds of years. Books have always been “spaces” where readers and writers meet. New media concretizes this metaphor, creating overt spaces for interaction. Sophie adds temporality and the z-axis as extended modes for authoring.
  • HISTORY
  • SOPHIE HAS A PHILOSOPHY
  • I failed Physics for Poets. I am not a programmer.  My software aims to make the expressive and hypertextual powers of the computer available to ordinary mortals who have no programming skills but who have something important and perhaps unique to communicate. – Bob Stein, 1999
  • TK3 is not a page-design tool, a replacement for Quark. It’s about freeing up the author's creativity.. – Bob Stein, 2001
  • While reading a books seems like a solitary activity on the surface, underneath it has always been a quietly social experience, a communication between the author and the reader across time and space. Sophie will make these metaphors concrete. – Bob Stein and Dan Visel, 2007
  • Software should be free. Software should be open source.
  • HOW DO YOU MAKE A SOPHIE PROJECT?
  • http://sophiecommons.org
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  •  
  • Clear descriptions of all aspects of Sophie:
  • Sophie’s Interface
  • Halos & HUDs
  • Video tutorials: http://sophiecommons.blip.tv/
  • Make demo books!
  • SOME CONCLUDING REMARKS…