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The value proposition of the Wikipublisher open source project is print still matters. The presentation needs of online and printed information are different.

We like reading stories on paperReading short, simple material online is fine; scanning longer documents to extract a few points is fine; few people will read a 50 page report online — we will print it. As a paper artefact, the average printed HTML page is rudimentary at best. And anyone who has read a 2-column PDF on screen knows that a PDF intended for printing can be an irritating online read.

Most web sites pretend this problem doesn’t exist. They either make the reader download a PDF file or they offer a low-quality printed form of the web page. It gets worse when the site has converted long word processing documents into HTML — a process needing great care when writing the document and painstaking tests of the resulting HTML. For content that changes often, maintaining separate web and print versions is impractical.

Turn web pages into beautiful printWikipublisher solves the problem by repurposing web pages as print documents. The benefits we get from this approach are:

  • it lets readers choose to read in the medium they prefer — online or print
  • it lets authors maintain one authoritative source, serving both web and print
  • content is optimised for readability and comprehension in both media
  • reduce development and support costs by leveraging a wide range of open source products
  • reduce operating costs by using one print server to combine and publish content from many web sites

Print has a rich cultural historyA good print document is the culmination of several hundred years of incremental improvement. Wikipublisher uses a typesetting engine to apply the rules of print consistently and in full, meaning it always produces output of the highest quality. Any web site with printable content would benefit from the service.

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Page last modified on 09 June 2008 at 04:14 PM