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loong post: infinite canvas, micropayment and a business mod
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Joined: 25 Jun 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(excuse my sometimes unclear language, i'm not an english native-speaker)

hi you people,

please take a moment and consider the following:

reality problems of today:

- the web-browser does not support
micropayments in any practical form, but comic-creators want/need micropayment-models to make a living
- the web-browser does not really offer the best platform to let people read comics. encoding comics in html is stupid, hard work.

- the "infinite canvas" is even more difficult to implement with html. call it a "clash of concepts" - while its possible to offer it, it's really really hard for the reader to navigate!

one possible solution: a comic-reading application. a specialized (freely downloadable) application that

- implements perfect media-fit technologies: infinite canvas + easy navigation, resume-where-you-left-off, bookmarking, and lots of other stuff you can think of

- offers easy authoring support for "conventional" comic-"book", infinite-canvas-comics and anything beyond (think hyper-comics a la scott's "carl")

- sports an open format (based on XML, for you tech-savy people out there)

- relies on conventional html-server for content-delivery, so that no extra (read: central) server is needed. no editors. no agent chooses. every comic-creator can use it.

- offers a micropayment-scheme within this one special application. thats relatively easy compared to all the other attempts (where schemes for a whole industry where developed). heck, the app could offer an banner-ad mode and a bannerless-mode, as a start. the payment-stuff could be part embedded very well, so that real click-and-pay access (visible and understandable to the user, of course) would be possible. real micropayment!

- could even be open source, so that it (eventually) outlives it's creators and is maintained and developed by the open source community.

there are disadvantages, as well: people have to download a separate software (minor disadvantage, if it pays off, usability-wise); comic-creators would be dependent on the people creating and maintaining the software (another middle-men? ow!) and the money-transactions (there is no way around this; there would at least be a bank between them).

why do i write this? i'm actually in a position where i could start a project like this (as a university assistant professor with a permanent job, in vienna, austria), and i would love to do so, if you comics creating people would find it useful. i would even love to cooperate with you, so that eventually the software could really become useful. what do you think? is it worth doing? (since you should never try, but do!

ps: i guess that two years ago, this concept would have made some people pay millions of $ venture capital... times are a-changing...
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Joined: 16 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that this is a really awesome idea!

Is there anyway that you could modify a PDF (Adobe.com's Portable Document Format) reader for this? PDF is completely cross platform and generating one is easy from commercial applications.

Does it have to be a separate program? Could it just be a plugin like the PDF reader plugin for the browsers?

Just a couple of random thoughts.


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Joined: 25 Jun 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comic in a box *gasp*.

It is an interesting concept. it would free up the download time if there were a file that easily reconnized these things as vectored images and not fixed sizerd images like it is now. Perhaps using something similar to a gameshow type game where the game itself is set up like a webpage or a powerpoint/hyperstudio presentation, where if you click button a, it takes you to pageb, and if you click button c, it takes you to page 345... The coding and "mapping" of such a program (thinking along the lines of the bookmarking section) would be incredible. Also, perchance an adobe illistrator plug in for the infinite canvas, where the canvas itself is nonexistant, you don't have to keep expanding the space, but where the page itself is a window....

stay with me on this...

It's like in microsoft excel, how your data table keeps going on for forever,

well, if the image were vectored, the canvas continues towards infinity without the artist going into "canvas size" and expanding the damn thing, then where ever there is no alteration to the image, the canvas isn't and the image stops.

This would allow easy download times if thewre were some kind of program that downloads these image easier, sorta' like flash 5 downloads flash easily, or real player can play streamline video (assuming you don't have a 56k like me) in second from the server...

Also, to prevent piracy, perhaps "sugar coating" the site..i don't know the technical term for this, but when the site is sheilded from right click downloads and page view printouts.

Also, Sluggy Freelance just did something a few months ago where their readers could insert their own words into the baloons on the characters. This made the comic into a complete image (same as before) but with their words instead. I noticed, (by copying my glych-slyggy) that the image file was a large portion smaller than the usual size of a sluggy strip of the same size. Perhaps, by having the computer do the work in that fashion elliviated some space-weight on the actual file, perhaps implimenting some of this...

I don't know, maybe I'm ranting.


"I may not be able to move that rock, but -man- can I make that rock think it's been moved"-Corran Horn, Star Wars

Glych's Experiment
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Joined: 15 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2001 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I humbly direct your attention to the existing thread where we have been working on this problem for six months now?

Most of the ideas y'all are floating have already been mentioned there. Still, I'd appreciate it if you would review the requirement doc draft and post on that thread any ideas for features that you think are not included already, or that you imagine would work differently than is described in the draft.

Ptr, I've been waiting for people like you to start showing up around here. (Nod to JMac, I'm counting you, too!) Your vision sounds very close to the one I'm promoting. Let's talk! (email me at john_scott@cmug.com)

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