Wicentowski - XML for the Rest of Us

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Wicentowski - XML for the Rest of Us

  1. 1. The Office of the Historian’s Move to an Open Source XML Platform <br />for Digital Publishing<br />Joseph Wicentowski, Ph.D.<br />wicentowskijc@state.gov<br />
  2. 2. The Office of the Historian is…<br />An Office in theU.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs<br />Dates back to the administration of Abraham Lincoln<br />Staffed by 40+ professional historians, based in Washington, D.C.<br />
  3. 3. Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)<br />
  4. 4. Before: Our Online Publications, 1996-2009 <br />
  5. 5. Initial Core Goals<br />Break through the barriers that our existing content management system placed on getting our publications online<br />Improve the user experience, including a better search engine<br />
  6. 6. Revised Goals (To really do it right, let’s…)<br />Make the right decisions now to minimize cost of change in the future<br />Avoid proprietary technologies and device-specific formats. Go for open and archivally sound.<br />Remain tolerant of idiosyncracies, while embracing standards<br />Build on the best editorial traditions to deliver better reading and research<br />
  7. 7. Enhance glossaries<br />
  8. 8. Document Body: Shows relevant glossary entries<br />
  9. 9. Mouse over a name to expand glossary entry<br />
  10. 10. Improve the online footnote<br />Footnotes in Print<br />Footnotes online<br />
  11. 11. Hover over footnote reference to view inline<br />Footnotes in Print<br />Footnotes online<br />
  12. 12. Building on traditions…<br />Enhance body content with reference content, such as glossaries<br />Improve the online footnote<br />Respect the integrity of the print publication even while delivering a great web experience<br />Commit to consistent URLs<br />Provide complete citations on every view<br />Data visualization? – dynamic timelines and maps?<br />
  13. 13. Data visualization – dynamic timelines, maps<br />
  14. 14. Ambitious Goals!What format would allow us to achieve them?<br />Break through the barriers that our existing content management system placed on getting our publications online<br />Improve the user experience, including a better search engine<br />Make the right decisions now to minimize cost of change in the future<br />Avoid proprietary technologies and device-specific formats. Go for open and archivally sound.<br />Remain tolerant of idiosyncrasies, while embracing standards<br />Build on the best editorial traditions to deliver better reading and research<br />Enhance body content with reference content, such as glossaries<br />Improve the online footnote<br />Respect the integrity of the print publication even while delivering a great web experience<br />Commit to consistent URLs<br />Provide complete citations on every view<br />Data visualization? – dynamic timelines and maps?<br />
  15. 15. XML!<br />
  16. 16. XML!(umm… now what?)<br />
  17. 17. We decided we needed to go XML… What next?<br />Decide: which kind of XML?<br />How to get content into XML?<br />Software/platforms for XML solution?<br />… we researched flavors of XML… we reviewed our own content … we prototyped<br />… we developed encoding guidelines<br />… we found conversion/encoding vendors<br />… we researched XML platforms<br />… we programmed, tested<br />
  18. 18. history.state.gov (b. 2009)<br />
  19. 19. We knew we needed XML… Our own answers<br />Which kind of XML? … TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)<br />How to get content into XML? … Outsource to encoding vendor … Our very paper-based source material led us to minimize impact on existing editorial workflow for new publications … Work with compositor to deliver XML … Gradually move into comprehensive XML-based editorial workflow<br />Software/platforms for XML solution?<br />
  20. 20. An Open Platform for XML Publishing<br />eXist … free, open source native XML database … fast fulltext search engine + web server … active community … runs on Macs, PCs, Linux<br />oXygen … commercial XML editor … swiss army knife of XML development<br />XQuery … programming language for querying and manipulating XML … some prefer XSLT for transforming XML, but XQuery does it all<br />
  21. 21. Agility with XML: Adapting to Unforeseen Requirements<br />E-Readers and new formats like ePub … evolving formats<br />Open Government Directive and data.gov … native XML databases as a strength in an era of government transparency<br />Need to let our staff edit and annotate their TEI content in the browser … Making use of XForms and CKEditor<br />
  22. 22. E-Readers and the ePub format<br />From a single digital master file (an XML file) we can publish in many formats…<br /><ul><li> Online search & browsing
  23. 23. Print, Print on Demand
  24. 24. Digital Books (ePub)
  25. 25. tomorrow’s format?</li></li></ul><li>data.gov and the Open Government Initiative<br />Wired Magazine, May 19, 2010 , http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/sneak-peek-the-obama-administrations-redesigned-datagov/<br />
  26. 26. TEI Annotator: Editing XML in the Browser<br />
  27. 27. Win-Wins of an Open Platform<br />Open standards<br />Open source<br />Active, responsive, generous community<br />Contribute back to the community: patches, enhancements, and articles<br />
  28. 28. Thank you!<br />Questions?<br />Visit us at http://history.state.gov<br />Write to us at history@state.gov<br />

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