Archives for January2011

W3C Refining Metrics to Measure User Experience

The W3C’s Web Performance Working Group is working on a specification to define 20 "fine-grained" metrics to measure the duration of just about every aspect of a web user’s navigation behavior. The W3C’s working draft of the Navigation Timing Specification is in the "last call for comments" phase. After being finalized, it will specify 20 measurements for every page visited.

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Insight from the Real World: Buying a WCM Solution for Multilingual Web Presence

Our readers are familiar with language afterthought syndrome, a term we coined in our report on Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value Chains.

Language afterhought syndrome refers to that pattern of treating language requirements as secondary considerations within content strategies and solutions. Global companes leak money and opportunity by failing to address language issues as integral to end-to-end solutions rather than ancillary post-processes. Examples abound. Source and translated content that should be reusable, but isn’t. Retrofitting content to meet regulatory requirments in different regions. Lost revenue because product and marketing content isn’t ready at launch time. Desktop publishing costs that are incurred soley due to reformatting in multiple languages. The list goes on and on.

One of the most effective defenses against language afterthought syndrome is baking language requirements into the technology acquisition process, thereby embedding support into the infrastructure as it’s designed, developed, and built out. OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) recognized this opportunity when it embarked on an ambitious transformation of its web content globalization practices. Debra Lewis, web content manager at OCLC, and our friend Andrew Lawless, principal at Dig-IT Consulting, shared their experiences in a terrific session at Gilbane Boson 2010 entitled "Next Thing You Know — You’re Global!" 

The presentation delivered by Deb and Andrew is available on the Gilbane conference website (follow the link and click on slides for session E3) . Highlights include Deb’s characterization of the signs of stress. On the production side:

  • Spend more time finding “creative solutions” than creating new content or managing site strategy
  • Use features of your CMS in ways not originally intended
  • Can’t upgrade to new releases without corrupting your pages

On the business side:

  • Localization addressed at the point of publication
  • Turnaround for day-to-day edits increases—affects relationships with internal clients
  • Distributed authors “give up” and relinquish editing rights
  • Team stress increases

These stress points led OCLC to commit resources to evolving its global web content strategy.  Deb and Andrew then walked our audience through OCLC’s three-phased transformation:

  1. Get a translation service provider
  2. Get a new CMS that would scale
  3. Get a translation management system

The portion of the presentation on selecting a web CMS with well-defined multilingual requirements will be especially valuable to any organization wanting to eliminate the negative impacts of language afterthought syndrome. Deb and Andrew described OCLC’s selection process and timeline, CMS selection criteria, prioritized globalization features, key standards that would need to be supported, text and language requirements, and requirements for integration with translation workflows.

Many global companies are now rearchitecting their web strategies for global presence and audience engagement. We see this as a major technology and investment trend for 2011. The insight offered by OCLC couldn’t be more timely.The organization’s experience offers a treasure trove of guidance for companies who are evaluating new web content management systems with language requirements among their priorities.

Thanks to Deb and Andrew for a great contribution to Gilbane Boston.


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Nuxeo Studio 2.0 Now Available

Nuxeo, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform company, announced the availability of Nuxeo Studio 2.0, a new version of its customization and design environment delivered as a service. It features new design tools to help application developers build and deploy new features, content types, automations, and sophisticated views of managed information. No upgrade, no installation is required for customers currently using Nuxeo Studio. Customizations made with Nuxeo Studio provide customers with full backwards-compatibility as product updates are released, reducing work and worry for administrators and app developers. Nuxeo Studio 2.0 includes: Content View configuration- Content views are a representation of a repository query result set; Notifications – Email templates can be defined, with attachments and optional HTML, and included in content automation chains; Widget configuration- In Nuxeo Studio, a widget is a reusable component that defines the appearance and behavior of an input field in a form; Content transformation- users can now quickly set up XML and HTML formats for external publishing and exporting; and Ergonomic improvements- improved documentation and improved usability features as requested by Studio users. Fully integrated into the Nuxeo Connect Portal, Nuxeo Studio 2.0 enhances the end-to-end development and administration experience along with the Nuxeo Marketplace and Admin Center, the online app store for ECM modules and add-ons. A free, full-featured 30-day trial of Nuxeo Studio is available with sign-up.

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The Future of Book Publishing – New York Public Library Roundtable

Hosted by Kodak, this event was lively and informative.

As Kodak noted in their announcement:

"The future of book publishing is irrevocably changing. With the advent of e-books and other ongoing changes in the retail marketplace, the ability to print books as efficiently as possible becomes even more important. Book publishers, manufacturers, authors, distributors and other key stakeholders in the book value chain are all impacted by the industry’s fast-changing business environment, all seeking to improve efficiencies and develop new markets and revenue opportunities."


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Kindle Singles Now Available

Three months ago, Amazon made a call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers to join Kindle in making a new kind of content available to readers—Kindle Singles. Typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words, each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single killer idea — well researched, well argued and well illustrated — to be expressed at its "natural" length. Amazon is now introducing the first set of Kindle Singles to the Kindle Store. Available to both Kindle device and app users, and priced between $0.99 and $4.99, the first set of Kindle Singles include original reporting, essays, memoirs and fiction. Amazon plans to frequently launch many more Kindle Singles over time.

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Alfresco Adds Social Content Management in New Enterprise Release

Alfresco announced the immediate availability of Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 for download. This release features a more robust content platform for building content-rich applications, along with a more social user-interface for collaboration and document management. This platform will be used by developers and companies to build applications where enterprise content is "social-ready" — or shared, collaborated on and syndicated across the web – while being captured for compliance, retention and control. Using open standards like CMIS & JSR-168, Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is a content platform that can co-exist with social business systems to help manage and retain the social content. Key new product capabilities for the Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 release include: User-interface enhancements to make document management more social; Folder-based actions for simple workflow, along with advanced workflow (using jBPM); Distributed Content Replication; Collaborative Web Authoring; Integration with Enterprise Portals and Social Software. The Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 social content management platform is available now for download.

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Inmedius Realeases S1000Dmanager v4.0

Inmedius, Inc. announced the latest release of its management system, Inmedius S1000Dmanager v4.0. Manager v4.0 incorporates new or expanded capabilities: a comprehensive applicability system with Issue 4.0 structures, unique customer configurations facilitated through filtered publishing, customer management using a new Data Module Extension (DME) option, extended Business Rules Exchange (BREX) support with Inmedius Advisor integration, and automated Data Module container building capability. Support has also been added for five additional Data Module types. Manager v4.0 supports large S1000D projects that contain tens of thousands of Data Modules, while continuing to deliver responsive data access, screen load times and module creation and publishing. Manager v4.0 was also rigorously tested in 64-bit Linux and Windows® environments. Manager is one of seven modules in the Inmedius S1000D Publishing Suite, an integrated solution set.

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PixelMags Launches 2.0 Digital Publishing Platform

PixelMags announced the launch of its 2.0 tools portal, technology that allows publishers to take full control of their digital content from pricing to delivery as well as integration with Apple’s approval system. PixelMags’ new tools portal offers publishers a range of customizable tools that allow for real-time interactivity. Tools include drag and drop Web, e-mail, phone and address hotlinks, videos directly from YouTube with additional options for customization through HTML5. Each app is customizable and can be fully integrated with the PixelMags advertising network. PixelMags built the “Ads by PixelMags” advertising network to allow publishers to take full advantage of their extended reach created by the PixelMags 2.0 publishing platform. This new advertising network was built specifically for the magazine industry. The ad network also allows publishers to rollout ad content to one magazine or to an entire portfolio. PixelMags takes care of everything from working through the approval process with Apple to implementing the subscription process directly in the app. A key part of the platform is that it utilizes one set of API’s, which allow a publisher to integrate their print subscriptions along with the digital subscriptions. While PixelMags first deployed its technology on iDevices, it is currently developing a complete cross-platform solution within the existing cost, in affect, adding zero extra work for the publisher. The standard PixelMags platform can be customized to suit target markets and business models.

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OpenText Broadens ECM Suite with Customer Communications Solution

OpenText announced the availability of OpenText StreamServe Persuasion ver. 5, which aims to help businesses improve their customer communication in an engaging way. Persuasion is the first major product release from StreamServe since it was acquired by OpenText in October 2010 and represents an important addition to the OpenText ECM Suite. Persuasion helps increase the efficiency of document-based communication and improves customer engagement by allowing businesses to include marketing messages that are best suited to individual audiences. Linked with existing business systems, and requiring few or no changes to them, Persuasion adds in-house capabilities for defining, producing and interacting with personalized documents. It provides straightforward tools for business users such as designers, marketing staff, customer support agents, and process owners to create and use the documents that matter to them. In document-intensive business processes—logistics and distribution, for example—Persuasion eliminates much costly and error-prone manual handling. With little or no change to existing processes, Persuasion has the ability to consolidate data from business systems into "smarter" internal and external business communications. Persuasion offers improvements in document-driven processes, complementing OpenText’s existing transactional content management (TCM) solution. It electronically stages documents produced by various sub-processes and sources and releases each document set as tasks are completed. OpenText StreamServe Persuasion is available now from OpenText.

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The Document Foundation Launches LibreOffice 3.3

The Document Foundation has announced the launch of LibreOffice 3.3, the first stable release of the opensource office suite developed by the community. In less than four months, the number of developers hacking LibreOffice has grown from less than twenty in late September 2010, to over one hundred currently. The LibreOffice 3.3 release signifies: that the developer community has been able to build their own and independent process; due to a volume of new contributors being attracted into the project, the source code is undergoing a major clean-up to provide a better foundation for future development; the Windows installer has been integrated into a single build containing all language versions, thus reducing the download size from 75 to 11GB. The 10 most-popular new features among community members are: the ability to import and work with SVG files; an easy way to format title pages and their numbering in Writer; a more-helpful Navigator Tool for Writer; improved ergonomics in Calc for sheet and cell management; and Microsoft Works and Lotus Word Pro document import filters. In addition, many extensions are now bundled, providing PDF import, a slide-show presenter console, an improved report builder, and more. LibreOffice 3.3 also provides all the new features of 3.3, such as new custom properties handling; embedding of standard PDF fonts in PDF documents; new Liberation Narrow font; increased document protection in Writer and Calc; auto decimal digits for "General" format in Calc; 1 million rows in a spreadsheet; new options for CSV import in Calc; insert drawing objects in Charts; hierarchical axis labels for Charts; improved slide layout handling in Impress; a new easier-to-use print interface; more options for changing case; and colored sheet tabs in Calc. Several of these new features were contributed by members of the LibreOffice team prior to the formation of The Document Foundation. LibreOffice hackers will be meeting at FOSDEM in Brussels on February 5 and 6, and will be presenting their work during a one-day workshop on February 6, with speeches and hacking sessions coordinated by several members of the project.

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