Start with XML: A Practical Guide to When, Why and How - Brian O'Leary

2,411 views

Published on

from BookNet Canada Tech Forum 2009 - Brian O’Leary, one of the principals of the StartWithXML 2009 conference, will present the business case that underpins “why" publishers should embrace XML; the process, technology and organizational issues publishers should consider in determining "how" they get started; and the strategies and tactics that can inform a decision about "when" to start with XML. Suitable for both small and large organizations.

0 Comments
4 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,411
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
73
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
4
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Start with XML: A Practical Guide to When, Why and How - Brian O'Leary

  1. 1. Variations on a theme: Current and expected uses of XML in publishing BookNet Canada Tech Forum Brian O’Leary March 12, 2009
  2. 2. Overview of today’s discussion <ul><li>What is XML? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is XML useful for publishers? </li></ul><ul><li>How is XML used by publishers? </li></ul><ul><li>What are XML emerging best practices? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we get started with XML? </li></ul>
  3. 3. In a nutshell, if you need to… <ul><li>Reduce direct or indirect content costs … </li></ul><ul><li>Improve content storage and retrieval … </li></ul><ul><li>Make greater use of large-print, POD or ebook formats, or … </li></ul><ul><li>Get ready for a more robust content marketplace, then … </li></ul><ul><li>XML can help </li></ul>
  4. 4. So what is XML? <ul><li>Short for “extensible markup language” </li></ul><ul><li>Uses elements – the building blocks of content – to define the structure of a document </li></ul><ul><li>Can create or adapt elements to capture specific niche structures or taxonomies </li></ul><ul><li>Allows publishers to customize the presentation of elements across multiple uses </li></ul>
  5. 5. Tagging separates content from design Traditional Print-Centric Approach Content Structure Design Three Linked Elements Content-Centric Approach Content and Structure are Linked Design is Separate Adapted from work by David Young and Phil Madans, Hachette Books Content Structure Design
  6. 6. Disengaging design increases flexibility Using style sheets, any number of designs can be applied to the content. Structural components of the work are identified and connected to the content Book Large-print eBook PDF Adapted from work by David Young and Phil Madans, Hachette Books Content Structure Design
  7. 7. So why consider using XML? <ul><li>Old channels atrophying, dying </li></ul><ul><li>New channels rising </li></ul><ul><li>A Copernican shift, with IP at the center </li></ul><ul><li>Significant transform costs </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for web-ready marketing content </li></ul><ul><li>Recombinant and “chunked content” </li></ul><ul><li>Can better link IP and rights </li></ul><ul><li>From process complexity to content agility </li></ul><ul><li>Cost management AND revenue growth </li></ul><ul><li>Different models for different kinds of books </li></ul>
  8. 8. From process complexity to content agility Starting point – XML transition “ Write once, read once” (single-format delivery) “ Write once, read many” (supporting multiple formats and uses)
  9. 9. The XML transition challenge <ul><li>An investment in content agility </li></ul><ul><li>Requires advance planning </li></ul><ul><li>Requires changes in processes, technologies and organizational structures and roles </li></ul><ul><li>Must learn and apply new tools in new ways </li></ul><ul><li>Can somewhat constrain design flexibility </li></ul>
  10. 10. Making the business case Business case components taken from “StartWithXML: Why and How” research paper, section 2.1)
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14. Digital marketing Custom publishing Content aggregation
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Estimating XML’s potential benefits Many Few or none Frequency of or potential for reuse Travel and tourism Cookbooks STM Author or annotated editions Travelogues Tests Fictional series Historical fiction (opportunity to capture people, places, events) Novels “ Chunks” Low High Religion (esp Bibles) Business Education Reference Scholarly monographs
  17. 17. Estimating XML’s potential benefits Many Few or none Frequency of or potential for reuse Travel and tourism Cookbooks STM Author or annotated editions Travelogues Tests Fictional series Historical fiction (opportunity to capture people, places, events) Novels “ Chunks” Low High Religion (esp Bibles) Business Education Reference Scholarly monographs
  18. 18. Estimating XML’s potential benefits Many Few or none Frequency of or potential for reuse Travel and tourism Cookbooks STM Author or annotated editions Travelogues Tests Fictional series Historical fiction (opportunity to capture people, places, events) Novels “ Chunks” Low High Religion (esp Bibles) Business Education Reference Scholarly monographs
  19. 19. Gleaned from last fall’s survey <ul><li>Generally slight differences between large and small publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Education, scholarly lead on XML </li></ul><ul><li>Chunking, more formats, repurposing: “ Yes ” </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded editions (ex education): “ Not really ” </li></ul><ul><li>DocBook, EPUB rare; in-house more common </li></ul><ul><li>The prevalent tool set: “ Not sure ” </li></ul>
  20. 20. The survey captured a diverse audience
  21. 21. Variety was seen across most types
  22. 22. Weighted toward management
  23. 23. Digital workflow importance (size)
  24. 24. Digital workflow importance (type)
  25. 25. XML “fit” with CMS/DAM
  26. 26. Current uses of XML
  27. 27. Content re-use views vary by type
  28. 28. An upside for more agile content
  29. 29. A range of views on repurposing
  30. 30. Storage, retrieval and versioning
  31. 31. Expanded edition activity
  32. 32. Core take-aways from this data <ul><li>Everyone sees a value in more formats </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple formats far from “under control” </li></ul><ul><li>Storage and retrieval is not a “science” </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller publishers more likely to see XML as “unrelated” to CMS and DAM </li></ul>
  33. 33. Migrating to XML: Best practices Acquisition Contracts & agreements Editorial Production editorial Operations Marketing & sales Author guidelines Word using XML functionality Keywords (book, chapter) Work with editor to tag and “chunk” Integrate rights information with content With authors, tag for meaning Confirm additional downstream uses Develop author guidelines Version control Apply style sheets Manage and apply transforms Work with solutions providers to render content Use tags to help target audiences Title-specific SEO/SEM
  34. 34. Managing and applying transforms XSLT XSLT XSLT XSLT XSLT XSLT Large print PDF, print POD file Mobi etc. Other* XSL-FO XSL-FO XSL-FO XSLT XSL-FO Why style sheets? They are the tool that makes “write once, read many” possible … *Chunked, recombinant or annotated content
  35. 35. Style sheets lower per-page costs Stylesheets Simple = $550 Moderate = $1500 Complex = $2500 Highly complex = $5K - $10K Composition $.50 - $4.25 Adapted from work by Rebecca Goldthwaite, Cengage Learning
  36. 36. The payoff is volume-related Adapted from work by Rebecca Goldthwaite, Cengage Learning
  37. 37. Getting started with XML <ul><li>Begin with the end in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to sustained change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision, purpose, execution, refinement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It’s not (just) about XML </li></ul>
  38. 38. Begin with the end in mind … Planning Implementation <ul><li>Establish and evaluate end-user requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Assess your processes across functions and handoffs </li></ul><ul><li>Model both current (operational) and future (strategic) benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit senior-level support for sustained change </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the point at which you want to “start” with XML </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain and maintain operating buy-in, support and dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Rank your key business benefits and measure progress openly </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for early wins, ideally spread across multiple functions </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit the value of prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Capture and share deep editorial knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Foster and communicate objective measurements </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalize on the value of new, downstream uses </li></ul>
  39. 39. Commit to sustained change … Planning Implementation <ul><li>Establish and evaluate end-user requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Assess your processes across functions and handoffs </li></ul><ul><li>Model both current (operational) and future (strategic) benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit senior-level support for sustained change </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the point at which you want to “start” with XML </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain and maintain operating buy-in, support and dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Rank your key business benefits and measure progress openly </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for early wins, ideally spread across multiple functions </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit the value of prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Capture and share deep editorial knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Foster and communicate objective measurements </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalize on the value of new, downstream uses </li></ul>
  40. 40. It’s not (just) about XML … Planning Implementation <ul><li>Establish and evaluate end-user requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Assess your processes across functions and handoffs </li></ul><ul><li>Model both current (operational) and future (strategic) benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit senior-level support for sustained change </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the point at which you want to “start” with XML </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain and maintain operating buy-in, support and dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Rank your key business benefits and measure progress openly </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for early wins, ideally spread across multiple functions </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit the value of prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Capture and share deep editorial knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Foster and communicate objective measurements </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalize on the value of new, downstream uses </li></ul>
  41. 41. So if you are looking to … Goal Keep in mind Streamline ebook production <ul><li>Standard formats, particularly EPUB, exist </li></ul><ul><li>If you support more than EPUB, buy or create transforms that can be reused across titles </li></ul><ul><li>Check out Laura Dawson’s session later this month </li></ul>Produce more formats <ul><li>Figure out the formats first (large print, POD, library edition etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Buy or develop XSLT and XSL-FO tools that can be shared or easily adapted </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify: make XML files that support seamless downstream use </li></ul>Improve internal processes <ul><li>Catalog pain points (file maintenance, retrieval, versioning, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear where XML helps (versus workflow improvement alone) </li></ul><ul><li>Focused projects: short or prototyped; senior and operating support; look for early wins </li></ul>
  42. 42. Growing your content breadth Goal Keep in mind Repurpose content <ul><li>Figure out the likely uses first </li></ul><ul><li>Tie plans back to pain points, where applicable </li></ul><ul><li>Buy/develop XSLT and XSL-FO tools that can be shared, adapted </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify: make XML files that support seamless downstream use </li></ul>Create related “chunks” <ul><li>“ Begin with the end in mind:” What are end user requirements? </li></ul><ul><li>Capture and share deep editorial knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype and test (make many small mistakes, not one big one) </li></ul><ul><li>Play with pricing where you can (not an XML suggestion, but …) </li></ul>Create expanded editions <ul><li>“ Begin with the end in mind” </li></ul><ul><li>Survey (be mindful that the expressed need may not be there) </li></ul><ul><li>Engage both editors and marketing/sales staff (break down silos) </li></ul>
  43. 43. Useful links <ul><li>Handouts (available on the BNC web site) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research paper executive summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning/implementation checklists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selected survey results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http://toc.oreilly.com/startwithxml (research paper) </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bisg.org (standards and current issues) </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.idpf.org (standards, EPUB) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

×