Authoring Systems: An Overview Presented by Dave Murphy Senior Production Manager Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 530 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 215 521 8747
An Overview of Content Acquisitionu First systems networked on mainframesu Dedicated environmentsu Newspapersu Audio tracks in science experimentsu Templated, collaborative authoring of Web pages
Full Circle – Back to Printu Generalizing from web-template tools to XML- based toolsu Adding Content Management featuresu Check-in / check-outu Workflow processingu Collaborative authoring for an environment that is not media neutral, but targeted for all media
Authoring Tool Process Goalsu Help writers and editors concentrate on writingu Achieve gains in production by passing well structured content or XML to the production processesu Eliminate the problems associated with managing unstructured filesu Provide the publisher with some workflow management and reporting tools
What is an Authoring tool?u A Word template? – YES! Sometimes the solutions can be simple. – You need to balance the cost of technology against the needs to the project. – A template can help guide your authors in writing to a pre- established pattern.
What is an Authoring tool ? (continued)u A slightly more sophisticated version is a Word template with some scripted features. – Sample that follows set up with Univers Condensed for box text, set to 7.5/9 as in specs Includes Font check during validation also now checks and resets leading – Includes a "Paste" macro on the toolbar--if the author uses this instead of the regular paste function, it will clean the text automatically for them and prevent a possible error if they are trying to paste line/page breaks into text boxes, which Word will not allow. – This template designed to help control the content depth during the authoring stage. – Not 100 % accurate but effective at limiting the author to the space allocated for an individual topic .
Templates the up sideu Low costu Easy to createu Nominal learning curveu Aids in guiding author to write to a predetermined structure
Templates the down sideu Distribution issues, especially when an update is needed. Getting authors to change templatesu Macro and Macro virus paranoia - alerts go up, IT managers dont want to allow the functionsu Compatibility across various versions of Wordu Word files have many issues. If the template doesnt kill off word features like text boxes, the author can still break all rulesu Conforming and control issues - dealing with hundreds of filesu Real virus problems - template may actually get infected, and can spread viruses.
Authoring and Composition toolsu Adobe InCopy® and InDesign® – Plus Side u Well integrated system u WYSIWYG environment for copyfitting – Negative Side u Cost to license u Learning curve
A Case Study of Power XEditor Authoring SystemDeveloped by Techbooks
Tool Historyu Developed to support compositor internal editorial processesu Has been modified to include additional editorial features needed for a collaborative work flowu Is being reviewed for potential to work with our internal content management system (Documentum)
Current PowerXEditor Functions Standard Editing Cut, Copy Paste, Find, Replace, Bullets Compare Files, View changes (3 Levels), Lists (1 level) Standard Workflow: Editors: Accept/Reject Changes Automatic Check Out / Sign over Copying and Inserting Copy/Paste from Text Apply/Remove Pre-defined Style Copy/Paste from Word 2000 Apply/Remove Highlights Spell Checking Standard Dictionary Now Alternate Specialized Dictionaries Soon Other Single Master Template - Figure Support Manual Citation Linking and Insertion Template, Table Templates Style Application Within Template Status View for EditorsCustomized Roles – Authors, Editors, Man. Editor Managed Help, Version Control, Administration
PowerXEditor Feature Overview• Online Web based Authoring Tool• Familiar MS-Word like interface• Formatting and Editing is easy• Maintain the structure of the content• Supports Table and Figures• Supports creation of links• Predefined templates• Compare files and view changes • Accept / Reject changes• Controlled access / File lock• File Version management• A built in common workflow is available• Chapter status tracking• Help files and Help desk
Workflow OverviewOld Edition XML for XML Conv. PowerXEditor Production Old XML XML for PowerXEditor Production XML for PowerXEditor Production
Priority Development List ü=DONE!u Automated Reference Checking üu Administrative Features – Force Check-In – Sign off on Behalf of Anotheru Extend Copy/Paste From Word üu Tutorialu Enhanced Workflow With E-Mail Notification
Priority Development List (continued)u Auto-anchors For Tables, Figs And References To Enhance Internal Linking (July 2006)u Administrator Toolset – Edit Author/Editor Profiles – Create New or Guest Logins – Modify Templates – Opt-Out Automation
Mid-term development plansu Stand-Alone Version Release in JAVA with E-Mail Check-in/Check-outu Specialized Content Marking – Comment Pass-Through – Mark for Indexu Missing Symbol Identificationu MathML Integrated Editor
Production Advantagesu XML in, XML out – No Author or Editor XML Knowledge is Required to Use PowerXEditor – Supplier Maintains Master Copies, Backups, File Difference Logs – Initial Load QA, Clean-up for DTD Compliance on Export
Production Advantagesu Can Provide XML at Any Time for Marketing, Publish-Before-Printu Author Productivity Enhanced as Focus is on Content, Not presentationu Development Team Can Provide Specific Customization to Interfaceu Preview Mode Provides a “Galley View
Real Lifeu Real people are finickyu Need to be able to break out of system for special casesu The system must be supported by competent help
Summaryu There are no one size fits all solutions. For some titles none of these are necessary, for some task a template or a scripted template is the way to go.u For multi-authored complex books, for annuals and for titles where the structural integrity is requires to facilitate repurposing the data a full blown authoring system is worth investigating.u The tool shown in this demo is from the Techbooks team it started as an internal system that they are maturing into a system that is supporting external customers as well. We are working on 3 titles actively with currently quite a few more planned.u It is a system that is growing as our understanding of its strengths and weaknesses grow.