How Computers Make Books you own this product

From graphics rendering, search algorithms, and functional programming to indexing and typesetting
John Whitington
  • MEAP began December 2022
  • Publication in Spring 2023 (estimated)
  • ISBN 9781633438675
  • 250 pages (estimated)
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Look inside
Learn about computer science by exploring the fascinating journey it took to make this book!

In How Computers Make Books you’ll discover:

  • How human descriptions are translated into computer programs
  • How a computer can understand document formatting
  • How a program decides where to print ink on a page
  • Why computer science is so interesting to computer scientists, and why it might interest you
  • …and much more!

How Computers Make Books introduces what’s wonderful about computer science by telling the story of how computers have transformed the ancient art of publishing books. Author and publishing software developer John Whitington takes readers on a journey through the computer processes needed to create this very book. Each chapter explores the elegance of modern digital printing, from how a computer knows where to place ink, to reproducing shades of gray, to laying out paragraphs on the page.

about the technology

Computers have transformed every industry—even ones as traditional as creating books. If you’ve ever been mystified about what goes into programming a computer to do practical, familiar tasks, this book is for you. In it, you’ll answer interesting questions about human-computer interaction. How do computers represent all the different languages and letters used by humans? How do we compress a book’s worth of complex information so it can be transferred in seconds? And what exactly is a computer program? This book answers all those questions by telling the story of how it was created!

about the book

Open up How Computers Make Books and you’ll learn how computers use math and computer science to lay out and produce a book. Explore text, fonts, and the means of putting ink onto the page. Dive into the history of typesetting and printing, and see how that history informs today’s technology for both physical books and eBooks. You’ll learn the importance of both mathematical calculation and artistic taste, and how only a combination of the two leads to beautiful books. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a better understanding of how computer science is used to solve problems, and the complex technology that went into every book you own.

about the reader

This book is for everyone—from the computer science curious-but-clueless, to tech professionals interested in the ingenious solutions created to solve the big problems of printing.

about the author

John Whitington is the founder of a company which builds software for electronic document processing. He has studied and taught Computer Science at Queens' College, Cambridge and has authored a number of computer science textbooks.

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