Currently, around 15-20% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. This is the case while most websites and software products are not accessible, making it difficult or even impossible for many people to use.
Web is an essential part of daily life for a lot of people and it is crucial to remove barriers that prevent interaction with or access to websites and software products. One example of accessibility is adding alternative texts to images (alt text). Adding alt texts to photos allows visually impaired users to get access to the image information using screen readers. There is even a business case here since in addition to accessibility, adding alternative texts will greatly help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it provides better image descriptions, helping search engine crawlers to index an image properly. Continue reading ActiveTextbook on The Path of Becoming Fully Accessible
We are pleased to announce the release of Readium 0.28. This new version of the EPUB reading system can be used in different browsers and embedded into browser apps.
One of the main components of this release is the implementation of a plugin, which provides integration with the Hypothes.is framework of annotations and bookmarks. The integration will provide readers and authors the ability to use Hypothesis annotation services, such as reading, adding and sharing annotations in EPUB3, using them for navigation, and holding discussions. The Readium CloudReader has now been enhanced to provide support for the Hypothes.is annotation and bookmarking client/server infrastructure, a collaborative effort by Evident Point Software, NYU, and Hypothes.is.
Another major component of this release is a large number of improvements to the CFI (Canonical Fragment Identifier) handling, page layout, and navigation, especially in the continuous scroll view of the EPUB3 files. Readium 0.28 includes a large number of bug fixes that results in significant improvement in navigation and performance.
We would like to thank Ric Wright, Daniel Weck, and all the other contributors for working hard to make the release of Readium 0.28 possible.
I’d like to discuss a topic that’s not directly relevant to end users but is very important to businesses hosting and maintaining ActiveTextbook. Specifically, I’ll be talking about hosting and updating ActiveTextbook server software with Docker containers.
Docker is a containerization technology that has taken off in the last few years. The original ground work was laid by Google, but popularized by Docker Inc in 2013. Containerization is a standard way to package server side applications. Packaging all applications in the same manner allows for a efficient workflows and numerous other benefits: Continue reading ActiveTextbook with Docker Containers
Some devices don’t report precise touch point readings. This results in noisy(i.e., not smooth) scribble paths. We need to clean up the scribble data.
Firstly, we use the Douglas-Peucker path simplification algorithm to reduce the number of points in a scribble. Douglas-Peucker is able to remove about 80% of points while retaining shape of scribble. It works by removing any points that fall near a line between some other two points. Then when drawing a path with the reduced set of points, a shape very similar to the original scribble path is reproduced. Read more…
Readium 1 is now ancient in Internet terms, and there are a number of good reasons for a rewrite. However while that is happening it’s helpful to reuse some of the functionality from Readium 1 with Readium 2.
Although Evident Point was the initial contributor to Readium, there were many organizations and individuals that contributed to Readium over the years. Readium grew organically, to solve business needs at the time. This has resulted in a complex code base that is poorly documented and is difficult for newcomers to understand. To address these and other issues EDRLab announced the start of Readium 2 project at the end of 2016.
Along with resolving issues identified earlier, Readium 2 (R2) aims to define a “Web Publication Manifest”. Readium 1 (R1) was only designed to work with ePUB documents, while R2 is committed to the open web by engineering support for various document types at inception.
Readium 2 introduces a few architectural changes compared to Readium 1. Read more…
You’re probably familiar with OAuth2 already. OAuth2 is the technology behind the “Login with Facebook” or “Login with Google” buttons (and many others). OAuth2 is the best way to create a single sign on for two disparate web applications.
With single sign-on (SSO) users do not have to remember multiple passwords when logging into various applications. This becomes especially convenient with applications such as Blackboard, Canvas or Moodle where an instructor embeds an ActiveTextbook document in a course. When a user clicks the book link from within an LMS the user is transparently logged into ActiveTextbook without having to type a username and password, potentially without realizing that they have ended up in a separate application. Read more…
Active Textbook new version is a deep re-work of our original 1.0 platform, and includes deep architectural changes, as well as very significant changes in functionality , encompassing all components. From the user point of view, the most important changes are: Read more…
The North Vancouver School District has been journeying with us since our beta versions to bring Active Textbook to some of their students and teachers. A group of highly dedicated and innovative teachers, motivated to reach their students through technology, are pioneering the effort to compose and deliver their own interactive learning modules through Active Textbook. To an audience where point-and-click is a norm, they are meeting students in their terms and bringing learning closer. Read more…