Electronic Publishing 2.0: Reimagining the Publication and Preservation of E Literature


Published on

This is my presentation slideshow for the First International Conference on Electronic Literature and Virtual Art (ELVA), presented on October 4, 2012.

Published in: Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Electronic Publishing 2.0: Reimagining the Publication and Preservation of E Literature

  1. 1. E-Publishing 2.0:Re imagining the Publication and Preservation of Electronic Literature
  2. 2. The Situation• Electronic literature – “first generation electronic objects” – “born-digital”• Created in specific computational conditions. – Hardware – Platform – Software• Received in multiple computational conditions.
  3. 3. The Problem• Computational conditions are always changing• Backwards compatibility is maintained to different levels• Proprietary software is “closed” and restricts tampering• Companies and software come and go• Even open source code changes and becomes deprecated• Backwards compatibility: 5-10 years
  4. 4. Example #1: Arteroids • Created in Macromedia Director from 2000 to 2004. • Published online via embedded Shockwave files.• In 2004, Adobe buys Macromedia: – Releases Director 11 in 2008, changing the audio engine and other aspects of its code base. – Importing old versions changes code, rendering it inoperable and unreadable. – Largely abandoned: minor updates in 2009 and 2010.
  5. 5. Example 2: Lexia to Perplexia • Written in HTML, DHTML, & JavaScript in 2000 • Runs in: • Netscape Navigator 4 • Internet Explorer 4• Incompatible with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.• Standards change for HTML, DHTML, JavaScript: – Deprecated commands & code – New browsers designed to read newer versions
  6. 6. Example 3: Works in Flash • Flash became an industry & e-literature standard in the past decade. • Many works of e-literature are developed with this authoring software.• 2010: Steve Jobs decides not to allow Flash in iOS devices.• 2012: Adobe discontinues Flash for Android tablets. Only developed for personal computers.• As tablets become ubiquitous, the audience for e-lit in Flash will die out.
  7. 7. Digital Preservation Methods for Electronic Literature• Bit-by-bit preservation of source materials.• Documentation – through image, audio, and video capture of a performance of the work.• Emulation – emulating the original computational environment in another OS.• Porting - translating software from one programming language to another with the goal of producing the same effect in different hardware and software configurations.
  8. 8. Digital Publication Methods for Electronic Literature• Online publication.• Bit-by-bit preservation: provide access to faithful copy of the original. Reader may not be able to use copy.• Documentation – disables interface & interactivity.• Emulation – reader needs to install emulators in their own computers to run files.• Porting – Produces new editions of the work. Changes work in subtle ways.
  9. 9. Example 4: First Screening • Created on an Apple IIe between 1983-1984 in Apple Basic. • Underwhich edition (1984): 100 copies published in 5.25” floppy disks. • Apple II series discontinued by 1993.
  10. 10. First Screening on Hypercard • J. B. Hohm started working on a Hypercard version of First Screening in 1992. • It was published in 1993 by Red Deer College Press in 3.5” disks. • Hypercard was discontinued in 2004. • Classic Environment not functional beyond Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger), released in 2005.
  11. 11. Digital Preservation of First Screening• 3-year preservation project (2004-2007) by Jim Andrews, Lionel Kearns, Dan Waber, Geof Huth, and Marko Niemi produced and published: 1. The original DSK file of the 1984 edition, which can be opened with an Apple IIe emulator, along with the Apple BASIC source code as a text file, and scanned images of the original printed matter. 2. A video documenting the emulated version in Quicktime format. 3. The 1993 HyperCard version, along with the printed matter of that edition. 4. A JavaScript version that runs in browsers.
  12. 12. First Screening (video version)
  13. 13. Evaluating First Screening Digital Preservation at Vispo.com: Pros Cons• Well documented • Different formats• Offers work in multiple presented as (more or formats less) equivalent• Offers supplemental representations of work materials • Porting focuses on• Includes source code linguistic text and animation• Javascript port • Graphical text is preserves: neglected – Linguistic text – Animation • Work is different in each format.• Lovingly executed
  14. 14. Screen Text vs CodeJavaScript Screen Text JavaScript Code
  15. 15. REMarks about Screen & Code• Differences between code and screen are significant in bpNichol’s work: – Title “First Screening” evokes computer and film – Early (est?) kinetic digital poem – “Offscreen Romance” plays off of onscreen chemistry and off-screen romance between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Code poem is not a kinetic text – Code poem engages REM programming code
  16. 16. Problems with Current Electronic Publication Paradigm• Publish works in Web deliverable format• Assumptions: – The material can survive changes in computational environment. – Readers are willing to: • Switch browsers or compare how they render work. • Install plugins • Install emulators • Watch documentation videos
  17. 17. New Paradigm• Publish works inside of computational environments customized to run work optimally.• Technologies: – Emulation – Virtualization • Apache VCL • VMware • Gaikai & Onlive – Cloud-based services
  18. 18. Virtualization• Run operating systems inside of other OS.• Publish access to online virtual machines.• The reader only receives a “screen” into other machine.• Reader’s input is mapped onto virtual environment’s input.• Requires good bandwidth
  19. 19. VCL (Virtual Computer Lab)• NC State University & Apache Software Foundation are the leaders in VCL development.• Concept: – Terminal 2.0 – Centralizes computational infrastructure – Users can request a variety of OS & software – Minimal requirements for readers’ machines.
  20. 20. How VCL Works
  21. 21. Onlive & Gaikai• Designed to deliver computer games on the Cloud.• Minimizes system requirements for users.• Deliverable on iPads, tablets, browsers.• Successful? – Gaikai was purchased by Sony – Onlive went bankrupt
  22. 22. What’s next?• Research and development of virtualization & emulation.• Identification and preparation of key computational environments to be replicated.• Develop input mapping on different devices.• Explore legal issues with software licences.• Curate environments and works so readers can understand older computational contexts.
  23. 23. Final Considerations• Can be used to produce critical editions:• Example: Arteroids – Prepare virtual machine with old version of Macromedia Director. – Provide source files for scholars to perform Critical Code readings and study code. – Have multiple running versions in machine.• Added value = monetizable publication.
  24. 24. Thank you!Leonardo Flores, Ph.D.Associate Professor of EnglishUniversity of Puerto Rico: MayagüezFulbright Scholar in Digital CultureUniversity of Bergen Featured project: I ♥ E-Poetry http://leonardoflores.net