Terje Hillesund is talking about reading digital texts right now. He’s recapped what we did last time we met, and proposes the projects presented last time can be seen from the side of the readers that will use them, who will be reading in one of two ways:

  • Intentional reading: the kind of reading we do when we read novels. We’re intentionally seeking out a text and expect to spend some time with it.
  • Functional reading: We read almost constantly when we work and/or play on computers, but the reading isn’t the main point. (I might not have understood this fully – at first it sounds obvious, but is reading ever the main point? Reading a novel is the reading the main objective, or experiencing the language and gaining insight into the plot and characters? Maybe this is nitpicking.)

The more intentional the reading is, the greater the need for an interpretation standard. OpenReader is one effort to achieve standards for electronic documents so they can be read on any platform. For instance, L’Echo de la fabrique, for instance, intentional reading is dominant, and a specific system that is optimised for reading would be optimal. A web browser is not enough. The Wittgenstein Archives, on the other hand, is too complex for OpenReader. The Ibsen project needs specialised, standardised reading software because there’s lots of intentional reading. The corpus databases, on the other hand, deal in functional reading and do not really need a specialised reading platform.

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