In his recent message on the Byte articles on Infoglut, Sperberg-McQueen
notes with some disparagement the "Carousel" idea put forth by Adobe for
providing a standard interface for reading. He calls it a focus on physical
layout, an emphasis "which would effectively make the documents
uneditable and unusable for any purposes except screen viewing and
printing on paper".
Looking for the half-full glass, I see here a potential means of document
distribution which allows the preservation of the author's intent (let's set
aside deconstructivist issues here for the moment, if we may). In other words,
it offers a means of document security; what I am calling electronic
This is a tool we are in need of in the ephemeral electronic environment; the
ability to know that the footnote reference to a document that I just made
will be relevant to you--i.e. that the document still exists in the form I
read and am writing about--is important for scholarly communication.
Pages of illustration.
There are plenty of other issues, such as preserving the original file that
the Carousel image is taken from; electronic authentication algorithms and
electronic signatures; cryptography as a tool; hashing; and the like. But
the Carousel mechanism seems to offer one item for the toolkit for this need.
--Peter Graham, Rutgers University