>I have been an advocate of *interactive* (not just electronic) books >even since the advent of HyperCard in 1988. The publishers were not >ready. They were still not ready in 1996, when the first electronic >textbook came out (a Simon&Schuster biology text that was simply lifted >into CD-ROM format). Judging from what's coming out now, they are still >not ready for an interactive textbook.
1996? Really? I'm pretty sure there were other electronic textbooks a few years earlier -- I have to find my old copy of Anton's 4th edition calculus on CD (not very interactive, but it had its uses) -- I think it was from 94 or 95,but I could be wrong. The basic point is still probably valid, though it really depends on what you want to call a textbook -- online tutorials and electronic courses delivered via CD or over the web are in electronic format and some of them are VERY interactive -- maybe too much to be called a "textbook" anymore.