Reading a URL

One of the Exact Editions foundation stones is that in this digital platform each print page has its equivalent web page. Our platform systematically turns magazines, books etc into collections of ordinary web pages. If you had nothing better to do you could learn to read these urls. For example, here are pages from trial issues for Le Monde Diplomatique :

[French]http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/browse/373/409/2657/2/1
[English]http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/browse/373/399/2074/2/1

In these urls ‘373’ refers to the publisher/owner Le Monde the company, ‘409’ to the French language edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, ‘2,657’ refers to the July number and ‘1’ at the end to the page number. If you replace the ‘2’ by a ‘3’ you jump to the larger page size whereas you will land up in the 16-pp view if you replace the ‘2’ by a ‘1’.

Queries also have a quasi-readable syntax. Here is a search for ‘Paris’ in the trial issue of the English LMD:
http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/search.do?term=Paris&issueId=2074&magazineId=399&type=issue

Reading urls is not an exciting business, but it is important that all of the pages and all searches in the Exact Editions system have distinct urls. This way readers can bookmark articles of special interest and they can share search results, citations or references with anybody who may have access to the same material. Any respectable digital publishing system, whether for books or magazines, should produce determinate and shareable references. A lot of the current offerings fail this simple requirement.

2 thoughts on “Reading a URL

  1. It really should behttp://exacteditions.com/Garden Rail/2007/September/1/large:-)I had some input on traintimes.org.uk putting inhttp://traintimes.org.uk/reigate/london victoria/12:00/tomorrowNote the format is extensible – you can remove 12:00/tomorrow and get train times for just the route at this instant.

  2. Making them more readable? Yes, good idea. But make sure that the system has the advantages of abstraction (which in this case means generalisability and adaptability). Not ideal to get locked into a ‘titles individuate’ situation, since there is no uniqueness or copyright in titles. I feel a bit uneasy about ‘large’, when do we get ‘larger’, ‘largerstill’ etc? And must we read urls in English? Numbers do have advantages and are culturally neutral.

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