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Table of Contents
Index
Glossary


















Table of Contents
Index
Glossary
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Next: Flexibility Up: Electronic publishing Previous: Complex search operations

Separating the storage from the presentation format

Another advantage of electronic storage is that information can be stored independently of the presentation. Upon each retrieval of the information, it can be decided how it is to be presented - on screen or on paper, and which font, format and appearance are most suitable for a particular task. This feature is explicitly used in descriptive languages as Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) or Extensible Markup Language (XML), where the structure of the presentation is marked up in a functional way (labelling headers and sections) instead of a typographical description (in terms of fonts and sizes) [ISO, 1986].

In an electronic environment, the production of a truly physical product can be entirely eliminated, or replaced by a print job on a laser printer in the receivers office.2.47 In the user-survey reported in [Coles, 1993], all respondents indicated that they wanted print-on-paper versions of articles of interest; they preferred to restrict reading from the screen to article scanning. It must therefore be possible to obtain an adequate printed version of electronic articles. This requirement, however, is far more stringent for the comprehensive  receiver than for the  selective receiver, who does not read the entire article. At least using the current technology, paper is easier to handle than the computer for the reader. It is more pleasant to read from paper than from a computer screen. Also, a paper article is more portable and it can more easily be annotated. And viewing different documents (or parts of documents) simultaneously is more practical if they are spread out over a desk than if they are presented on the screen.



Next: Flexibility Up: Electronic publishing Previous: Complex search operations