Share a book: Reading experience on Scribd

Reading a document inside the frame of a website may seem redundant, but an elegant implementation can give back some of the gratification we find in experiencing a book in our hands. A good example, at least as far as technical realization is concerned, is Scribd.com and their incredibly slick iPaper viewer. This takes in all types of documents we deal with in our software offices all day, and transforms them into an interactive flash movie. Now, the frame inside the frame turns into a full-fledged playground in its own right as the viewer allows for fullscreen display, text search, and a zooming and scrolling behavior that feels much more rounded off than my desktop pdf reader. So this is immersion at its best on the web: The inner frame seems to escape its framing website, the captured document feels more flexible than its original version. But not all is good in Scribd-land, as the company exhibits its corporate nature via control efforts against too much liberty in dealing with documents. For example, outbound links are no longer allowed inside the viewer. Well, with this in mind, let’s turn to one of my favorite finds: The Tibetan Language for Beginners

Update: As Jared from Scribd has pointed out in his comment to this post, outbound links are once again allowed in iPaper, but there seem to be technical difficulties in the Pdf conversion that sometimes still prevent links from showing up correctly.

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2 thoughts on “Share a book: Reading experience on Scribd

  1. Jared Friedman

    Hi there,
    I work at Scribd and noticed this blog post. Just wanted to correct one inaccuracy. In fact we do allow outbound links in iPaper. We try to faithfully convert PDF links to iPaper links, but for technical reasons some classes of links aren’t handled correctly yet.

    I’m glad you like iPaper!

    Best regards,
    Jared

    Reply

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