Originally downloaded April 12, 2007.
After watching the demo movie on the Sophie home page, I'm very tempted to say something like, "I've just seen the future of book publishing!" But of course, I'll say no such thing since I have no idea if that's really what Sophie will turn out to be. Certainly, Sophie looks like a very big deal, enabling with drag-and-drop ease a sophisticated desktop-publishing framework for text/images but adding the ability to incorporate video, audio, and remote content with just as much simplicity. Not only that, Sophie incorporates an animation timeline that gives authors the power to build complex presentations as part of the book. Sophie appears to have a simple event model that lets authors trigger timelines, movie playing, and so on from any given document fragment. I was also impressed that Sophie supports layering of content, so that a text fragment can easily be placed on top of a video, and that it understands alpha layers, so that the text fragment's background can just as easily be transparent as not. All in all, my jaw is still in a state of dropping as I write this, and I'm anxious to actually launch Sophie and try 'er out! Also available from the Sophie website is a set of demo books that you can download and inspect. Sophis is still in a very early stage of development, with the download being called an "Early Release Candidate", and it's being released simultaneoustly for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
Version as tested: 3.8.15b6U.