Alex Wright

Da Vinci code

May 30, 2004

Matt Webb has started posting an RSS feed of Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks. It's a neat experiment, but seeing the great Leonardo reduced to raw ASCII feels somehow deflating; without the original visual context of the manuscript, it seems like we're missing at least half the story.

The British Library's elegant interactive facsimile provides the original manuscript images, but lacks the RSS virtues of random access and reconfigurability.

While I'm all in favor of open publishing initiatives like Project Gutenberg, the brute reductionism of raw text and scanned images seems to call out for more integrated solutions like ActivePaper (cf. yesterday's post).

File under: User Experience

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