Editoria Update — January 2017

This month’s Editoria update helps us usher in 2017 a bit belatedly. January has passed us by quickly, but there have been no shortage of Editoria developments that we are eager to share with you all, so please read on.


To begin with, we are embarking on a new era in our outreach efforts for Editoria.  For the last twelve months, we have been largely directing our communications and progress reports to a small, dedicated group of advisers to the project.  This group has been tremendously valuable to us in our early efforts to build the system.  But starting with this newsletter, we will be delivering more regular missives to a larger group of contacts we have cultivated during our work on Editoria who have asked to be kept better apprised of its development.  If you’re new to these updates and would like some further background, you might want to head over to our blog at editoria.pub and check out last month’s update.  There is some other good information about the project, and we are trying to keep it up to date.


So, where are we?


As I mentioned, January has been a big month for Editoria.  To begin with, our friend, Adam Hyde, the co-founder of Coko Foundation and one of the chief facilitators of the development of Editoriahas actually just used the system to produce the first short book that has ever been run through the system.  The book is called, The Cabbage Tree Method, and it outlines his methodology for open source collaborative product development.  As Adam writes on his blog, “The book was written and rendered in entirely open source tools including Editoria and Vivliostyle.  HTML all the way home….”  An impressive achievement.  You can download a copy here (PDF) or here (EPUB).  I’m reading it right now, and it’s not just a good example of HTML typesetting, it’s a great read.


In other news, Coko’s development team has been hard at work implementing a very important feature of the system—the ability to track changes to text in Editoria‘s WYSIWYG editor.  This is critical functionality because it allows editors and authors to work in the system and better understand how they are interacting with the text and with each other in the collaborative effort to produce the book.  We will be turning our project editors and freelance copyeditors loose on this soon, but here is an early look at the current implementation, version 0.1, of this feature:screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-9-07-29-pm


February and March will see more important updates to the system, and we will also begin doing some of the heavy-lifting involved in user testing of the application during the coming months, but this is all great progress.  Again, see last month’s update if you would like a rundown of other features that we’ve been building in the system.


We will keep you further informed of our progress going forward.  Please feel free to share this update with any other folks who might be interested in Editoria.  Also, if you have questions, want to talk over our approach, would like more information about the application, or just express your enthusiasm for HTML-based book production workflows, we are always glad to hear from you, and we can be reached at either evanrijn@ucpress.edu or catherine.mitchell@ucop.edu.

Happy New Year from Editoria

This is a slightly edited version of an update on the Editoria project that was sent to our advisory board in December.  Going forward, we will be posting our monthly notes here on the blog, and delivering them to a broader group of contacs that we have cultivated in our conversations and travels over the course of the last couple of years working on the project.  If you are not currently on our email list and would like to receive regular updates, I encourage you to fill out our contact form.
The Editoria project is indeed moving into an exciting phase of its development, and I wanted to share some of our recent accomplishments and what lies ahead for us in 2017.
What We’ve Accomplished
Adam Hyde at the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation has an excellent post on his blog that summarizes a lot of the work that’s been done on the overall architecture of the system, and also specific features that have been built into the system.  I encourage you to read Adam’s post, which I think summarizes the current state of the application quite nicely.  However, I will briefly recap some of the important work that’s been done:
  1. Built team manager functionality that will allow the various members of a team involved in the production of a book (e.g. project editor, copyeditor, author) to interact with the text based upon permission assigned to them.
  2. Designed and implemented a commenting and querying system in the editor that allows for participants in a project to interactively comment on the text.
  3. Built out the libraries, known as XSweet, that are required for converting Word files to HTML for editing and display in the Editoria system.
  4. Developed and implemented a chapter structure navigation in the right column of the editor that allows a participant to easily navigate to any component of a chapter.
  5. Output print-ready PDFs from HTML using the Vivliostyle HTML/CSS typesetting engine.
What’s Up Next
Between now and mid to late April, which is when our current project plan has us beginning to pilot books through Editoria, we will be working on several critical pieces of functionality necessary to successfully use the the system in production.  These include:
  1. Adding track changes functionality.
  2. Integrating the system with the INK file conversion service that allows for automated upload and conversion of Word files.
  3. Adding an index builder.
  4. Building of the image management functionality necessary for image placement.
  5. Automating the output of PDF and EPUB files.
In addition, we will be doing some extensive unit testing of the various components of the system. This phase is currently planned for February/March.  We will be scheduling some webinar overviews of the system in the next couple of months—watch out for announcements.