The word ‘book’ has a germanic root: ‘beechwood’.
Beech wood is dense and hard-wearing, perhaps they used beech wood to write on.
Ancient civilisations found ways of writing both on and with nearly everything though: clay, wax, stone, metal .....
.......and the ancient Egyptians utilised papyrus, a reed grown along the banks of the River Nile, which they wove together to form paper-like sheets.
In order to accommodate longer and more developed writings, they began to glue the
woven papyrus sheets together, probably around 2400 BC, and these glued sheets formed scrolls.
Scrolls became the dominant form for literature all over the world.
Over 2000 years later the Romans came up with a book format which they called codex.
As codex is latin for 'the trunk of trees or vines', it is possibly a metaphor: referring to a collection of many individual branches/books (scrolls), that then become a greater whole.
The codex was made up of several pages which were stacked, piled, sometimes folded and always organised.
Eventually, the pages were numbered, and bound.
The codex, this collection and organisation of branches or vines, is seen as the most important advance in the history of the book - the other equally important advance was the development of printing...... (another story I believe)
The codex form of ‘book’ was... and still is ... seen as more economical, portable, searchable, organisable, sturdy, practical and sensible. A paged book can be bookmarked, customised, skimmed, referred to quickly and repeatedly, and also, when necessary, held in one hand whilst in the bath.... :)
All aspects of the paperbook which the makers of Kindle have understood. ... (well except maybe the bath thing:)
My partner owns several hundred books, and I am therefore in a position to verify that they can also be stored relatively compactly and organised in a myriad of ways.... alphabetically, thematically, by authorship, sizewise, colourwise........Trust me, I’ve seen it all:)
... and incidentally, the book covers are genuinely quite nice to look at!!
However, I digress.......
The process of organising pages is pagination.
From what I have read, pagination involves rules and algorithms for deciding where page breaks will fall and this is highly dependent on the cultural senses and traditions regarding what content belongs where. This depends on the type of information being paginated.
It also depends on the type of reader/user that will be using it.
It seems that there is a great deal more to pagination than one might initially imagine.
The user/ reader/viewer will invariably find some pagination far more preferable to use than others..... (note the seamless transition to the inclusion of viewer there:)
Pagination will, as we know, depend on content.
It also depends on the way the brain functions best.... (another story I believe)
In fact, it's easy to see that the art of pagination and, by default, presentation, is crucial to the understanding and appreciation of content.
Which brings me to the reason why I really can't see myself returning to flickr.
I miss many of my contacts, I miss the flickr habit I acquired over the last few years, I miss some of the groups... and I miss the sunday sliders' hubbub!!
.... and .... I really like the name flickr too :( boo hoo...
However, scrolls became largely obsolete 2000 years ago, except where scrolls are a part of particular traditions for inscribing important and often sacred works, texts and pictures, to be studied in very particular circumstances and environments.
The endless 21st Century internet scrolling of vast quantities of image and word content of variable quality.... is simply absurd.
The photographic content and general usability of flickr is diminished a thousand fold by endless scrolling. The chances of successfully organising content, making connections, bookmarking and performing general navigational activities, are inevitably, remote.
Even if there were suitable expanses of empty space around each image it would still be absurd.. .... actually more absurd ... all that extra infinite scrolling:) ...
( so visual aesthetics has to be another story I believe)
Around eight to ten on a page, or one image and a list of comments, pages appropriately named and numbered, happens to be good non-intrusive pagination for flickr content, and flickr usability.
It is economical (there are now many complaints 'over there' about disappearing bandwidth), organisable, searchable and practical, amongst other things.
I honestly believe that the strange phenomenon of endless internet scrolling will rapidly become an outdated blip in the history of the page.
I think I have three months (given free a while back?) left on my flickr pro account.
I will go on checking in over there to see my old contacts and to see if they ever employ someone intelligent enough to give the design a once over and endless scrolling the elbow.... hmmm... don’t think three months will do it ... and will it matter by then? ... I doubt it...
oh and ... maybe ...
I think I may even have devised a new and mildly abrasive term:
(to be used advisedly:) “Oh ... Scroll on ... :)
...and to end : a direct quote from Wikipedia:
“Pagination is sometimes a part of page layout, and other times is merely a process of arbitrary fragmentation. The difference is in the degree of intelligence that is required to produce an output that the users deem acceptable or desirable.”
With thanks to Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia - for much of the information I have gathered here.