Overnight there was a stealthy upgrade to the Exact Editions service. Ideally nobody should notice but we can talk about some of the silent enhancements here.

Gutenberg was not thinking about the web when he invented the printing press. Life would be a lot simpler now if he had made a press which could only print on one size and format of paper. We could then optimize everything for a single reading frame. But alas, with the Exact Editions system, we have to cater for 100’s and potentially 1,000’s of different page sizes with some more or less regular image sizes (no more than 11 at present). We reserve the largest ‘page’ sizes for the magazines that really need them, because offering a larger image puts more burden on the not-to-be-overworked scroll-bar. Our largest JPEG just got a bit larger, 1,700 pixels across. But it will be a few weeks before we show the broadsheet that will take advantage of this.

Of more immediate interest, we can now renew our subscribers automatically. ‘Renewals’ are available from the user’s ‘Preferences’ link on your account page. They of course work fairly, in the sense that the renewal starts from the date from which the current subscription expires. This has the incidental advantage that a user can now subscribe for 2, 3 or more years by simply renewing the subscription as many times as needed.