With the introduction of Aldus PageMaker in 1985, the world changed for me and probably thousands and eventually millions of others. It introduced the word 'font' to the broader culture and we saw the possibility of putting type and a picture together without wax and an x-acto® blade.
With the arrival of browsers came the experience of building pages in HoTMetal or FrontPage and eventually Dreamweaver. The difference was that creating documents for the Web felt like a step backwards where formatting and alignment required coding esoteric tags and there was no Postscript™ exact-ness to how things would render and display in browser A vs. browser B.
Creators were also discouraged from creating anything rich with photos or other graphics, and video/animation was nearly 'verboten'. A coding purist would tell you 100K page load was the absolute limit.
(I am intentionally skipping the Flash era... ('cause I've 'been there, blogged that')
Fast forward to 2022 and enter the world of HTML5. OK, HTML5 should reach Candidate Recommendation status from W3C in 2010, but it ain't exactly a standard yet. Unless, of course, the definition of 'standard' becomes 'what everyone wants to be using'.
Why would anyone leap ahead to the razor's edge of technology? (the question is rhetorical and facetious, of course)
We need to move publishing to being fully digital (35 years after the 'paperless office') because we are embarrassing ourselves with our post-1970 era string of failures. What was the last big (good) thing we can point to and say, "We made this happen?" We have problems from poverty to immigration to healthcare to energy to war and there is hardly a person I've met who will give me an unequivocal and legitimate review of how the U.S.A. solved, fixed or achieved anything of consequence in the last 40 years. Now I am a nerd and an Apple zealot, but when I look back at the achievements of the era, I can only remember the Macintosh, the Web, the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone (All of which were created by Apple or Al Gore, but I digress).
In order to launch digital publishing more broadly than 'desktop publishing',we need to have software developers stop and think about how HTML5/CSS3 as the Postscript and realize we are looking for the PageMaker-- an easy to use layout and media integration tool for web and mobile. The next place I am going to look is Dreamweaver with HTML5 Pack (it has been out for a month already!) and iWeb. I am guessing I will want the Frankenstein's monster mash-up that has Dreamweaver's brain and muscle along with iWeb's simple and pretty face. If you have knowledge of where else to look, please leave in comments...
The final word is that killing trees to 'publish' is over, so get on board. You can turn a blind eye like the music labels did, but that didn't stop iTunes and iPods from winning that war. Mail is now called email (one of the few that didn't get Apple's 'i'). I read USA Today, Wired and Mashable on iPad and get the rest from the Web. Books are next, now. Won't it be nice to say, "Here in the U.S., we don't kill trees or unnecessarily burn natural resources to make or distribute music, newspapers, periodicals, or books." Start the clock...