I was chatting recently with a fellow student who is taking a course on the future of the book. It sounded really interesting, and got me back to thinking about how much of our digital formatting is based upon analog counterparts.
For instance, the page. I’ve been reading a lot of books and articles lately involving complex diagrams which are referred to and explained in detailed textual descriptions. And it frustrates me to no end when I can’t see the text and the diagram side-by-side due to page formatting and layout required for publication. I understand how and why these constraints exist in paper publications (heck, it’s a huge part of my day job to get things to fit on a page properly for printing), but why have we inherited these same issues in the digital world?
I’d be interested to see how other people have come across this kind of anachronism.