As I work on my latest program, Markov Comic Generator, I find myself increasingly wishing that it had the ability to automatically post the generated comics to this site. The way I’m currently handling auto-posting of Mimi and Markov works but is not optimal: I wrote a shell script which, after running MCG, scp‘s two copies of each comic to a certain directory on the server. One of the copies is named with the current date, the other is always given the name “current.png”. On this site I have a static page which always shows “current.png”. I also have a WordPress plugin called FileAway which is responsible for generating the RSS feed and the file list displayed on the past comics page.
This is undesirable because it relies on extra software being installed on both the blog server (FileAway) and the computer running MCG (scp).
I’ve found out that both WordPress and Python support this protocol called XML-RPC. All I have to do now is figure out how to get them to play nice together…
This was written as an assignment for one of my art classes.
“Are large publishing houses affected by advancements in technology? How?”
Yes, definitely. Publishing houses exist as a result of technology; they are most certainly dependent upon it. First came ink, paper, and writing. Then came the printing press and movable type. Now we have computers, personal printers, email, et cetera. The publishing process has gotten unimaginably faster, cheaper, and more efficient thanks to technology. It is even beginning to transcend the limitations of print: ebooks now can embed videos, play music, even enable interaction between readers in different places.
The big challenge facing big publishers is that we are entering an era of plenty, at least regarding books. By plenty I mean that the cost of reproducing a book is so low as to approach zero. Where once big publishers were needed because only they could afford to buy a printing press, now anybody with a computer and (depending on your definition of ‘book’) a printer and/or an Internet connection can do the same thing. The only reason I don’t download a free (as in freedom – i.e. public domain or Creative Commons licensed) book from something like Project Gutenberg and print and bind it myself is my own laziness: the printing would not be worth the trouble. I have looked up various methods of binding books, and it seems easy to do, it’s just that I’d rather waste my time playing video games than making something that I can keep on my bookshelf and enjoy long after I’ve lost interest in whatever games I’m currently playing. That sounds messed up, but it’s true: Video games, which take ~10 hours to complete and then completely lose my interest, somehow seem more worthwhile to me than a book which I might read over and over again.
Continue reading The Future Of “Books”