Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: May 2020 (Page 1 of 3)

Kentico introduces Kentico Xperience

Kentico Software announced the launch of Kentico Xperience, a new brand for its digital experience platform (DXP). Kentico EMS previously their combined content management, digital marketing, and commerce capabilities in a single platform. The new brand, Kentico Xperience, replaces product names Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS, and emphasizes the digital experience capabilities available in the platform. As part of the product brand launch, Kentico has two new websites. for core company information, and dedicated to its digital experience platform.

Strapi releases Strapi Community Edition for enterprises

Strapi announced a new release of Strapi Community Edition representing 13,000 commits made by more than 420 contributors across hundreds of releases. This version of Strapi is also the foundation for an upcoming Enterprise Edition that will include enterprise features, such as advanced role-based access control, unlimited content internationalization, audit logs, and SSO. Companies interested in getting priority access to these upcoming features can sign up for a private beta until July 1st.

The company also announced the availability of paid support for companies who are interested in Service Level Agreements and access to best practices directly from the core team, and an initial group of Solutions Partners that have experience with Strapi and are ready to assist companies with a large range of services, including frontend development, content management CMS migration, and plugin or custom development. Partners include: AE Studio (USA), Capfi (France), freshcells (Germany), Simform (USA) and SovTech (UK, South Africa and Kenya).

The core team and contributors fixed more than 80 issues in the new release to enhance the overall developer experience including:

  • Native support for .env files to simplify configuration setup for users.
  • Improved environment configuration with overwrites.
  • Better database lifecycles to trigger functions before or after a specific event.
  • New CLI command to easily migrate settings across environments.
  • Greater support for deployment configurations with proxy configuration changes.

SDL partners with DRUID for multilingual chatbot conversations

SDL announced it entered into a technical partnership with DRUID, specialists in conversational AI, to launch multi-lingual virtual assistants for enterprise organizations that enable real-time communication through chatbots. By integrating SDL Machine Translation with DRUID virtual assistants, companies will be able to conduct chatbot conversations in different languages with employees, customers, partners and suppliers. The solution offers a real-time “interpreter mode” function, which can translate conversations along with “live chat” which can translate into multiple languages. 

Chatbots are commonly configured to undergo complicated question-and-answering activities in different languages, but language-specific customization can be complex, time-consuming and costly. The issue becomes even more complex when a chatbot is connected to various data sources (ERP, CRM, BI, HRIS, or other types of business applications). With SDL Machine Translation, chatbots can converse in multiple languages without the need to translate data sources or conversational flows.

SDL Machine Translation provides the neural machine (NMT2.0) foundationand the combined solution includes the ability to control brand voice with a brand-specific terminology dictionary that contains company-specific product names and unique terminology. This is machine learning solution uses anonymized chat logs for continuous language model improvement.,

Steve Jobs, OpenDoc, and Fluid

Ben Thompson has a member-only post on Stratechery that is worth a read if you’re one of his subscribers. Steve Jobs and OpenDoc, Fluid Framework, Microsoft Lists.

An article on The Verge and quotes from Microsoft’s Jared Spataro about Fluid reminded Thompson of OpenDoc and he begins his own thoughts on Fluid with a bit of history on Steve Jobs decision to kill OpenDoc in 1997. Thompson suggests the reason was that a combination of Microsoft’s dominant marketshare, and

that the application model was simply a much better approach for the personal computer era. Given the lack of computing power and lack of connectivity, it made much more sense to have compatible documents made by common applications than to try and create common documents with compatible components — at least with the level of complexity implicit in OpenDoc.

Thanks to Thompson for giving me an excuse to indulge in a little history of my own, which largely supports his view. Below is what I shared with him. The history is fun, but the new Fluid Framework is also worth a closer look. 


Fluid also reminded me of the competing OpenDoc and OLE approaches in the early 90s. To supplement your history…

At the first Documation conference in February 2004 1994 I moderated a session that included Apple Chief Scientist Larry Tesler, and Tony Williams, Microsoft Software Architect and Co-creator of COM. I had asked each of them to discuss requirements for and their approaches to building a “compound document architecture”. OpenDoc was naturally appealing to me (and many of my subscribers) at the time, but Tony made a strong case for OLE. Tony’s argument for OLE was technical but he also addressed the issue from a business point of view, and argued that OpenDoc was too much of a radical change for both developers and end users. While this was more of an issue for Microsoft with their large developer community and installed base, OpenDoc was radical, and I expect that was the reason OpenDoc languished at Apple and for Jobs’ ultimate rejection.

Below is an excerpt from my report about the session. The complete report and conference program and be found at the link above.

Technology Trends — Document Computing

On Wednesday the general session was divided into two sections. One covered new technologies being developed to enhance document computing and document management. The other presented senior managers from large corporations who described their own document management needs.

Your editor opened the technology session by describing three components of current document management systems, each of which presage future developments. Objects — whether in terms of object-oriented databases, object-oriented programming, or multimedia document component “information objects” — play a big role in making systems more flexible and capable of dealing with complexity. Building an architecture to manage and share distributed objects, and to link and assemble them into document form are requirements of many enterprise-wide document management solutions. Finally, the document metaphor is increasingly seen as the most effective and friendly way to interface not only with document management systems, but with information in general.

Today, these capabilities are built either at the application level, or as “middleware”. For many reasons (e.g., application interoperability, performance, and ease of application development), it would help instead to have support for these capabilities at the operating environment level.

Previous attempts at compound document architectures to provide such an environment have failed. But this is clearly something we need, and eventually will get. Whoever defines and builds such an architecture will be in a powerful position to dominate the IT market. We can expect fierce battles among the platform and architecture vendors to control this architecture . The two leading candidates today are Microsoft’s OLE, and the Component Integration Lab consortium’s OpenDoc (based on Apple technology).

Larry Tessler from Apple described the “Information Tidal Wave” (his alternative to “superhighway”) coming with the growth of electronic multimedia documents, and with the rapid building of electronic document repositories. IS managers will face severe new problems arising from the need to manage these repositories. Larry positioned OpenDoc as a core technology for supporting the management and assembly of these new kinds of documents.

Microsoft’s Tony Williams focused on user requirements for a compound document architecture. Compound documents should be thought of as “compound views” of information, and documents are just one form of information, and thus need to be handled as part of an information architecture. Information architectures in turn need to be able to manage many different types of multimedia data for both document and data applications.

A standard “containment model” is needed, Williams said, to allow applications to share and organize information objects. Previous attempts at standard compound document architectures, e.g., ODA (Office, or Open Document Architecture) failed because they attempted to define a too restrictive representation. Such systems also need to handle ad hoc information (for example, that created with a personal information manager) as well as structured documents.

Tony emphasized the need to protect both user investments in information and developer investments in applications. While a compound document architecture environment is a requirement of any new operating environment, there must be an evolutionary path provided — a compound document architecture that forces a radical change too quickly will not gain acceptance. Tony positioned OLE as the technology that meets these requirements.

When asked, both Tony and Larry Tessler claimed that OpenDoc and OLE should work together and described generally — each in terms of the architecture they were promoting — how that could happen. However, this is definitely an area where there needs to be continued and aggressive vigilance on the part of corporate users to ensure that operating environment interoperability results. It would certainly not be wise — at least not yet — to assume that one of these approaches will become dominant.

Lucidworks announces advanced linguistics package

Lucidworks announced the Advanced Linguistics Package for Lucidworks Fusion to power personalized search for users in Asian, European, and Middle Eastern markets. Lucidworks now embeds text analytics from Basis Technology, provider of AI for natural language processing. According to the companies, building, testing, and maintaining the many algorithms and models required to properly support each language is challenging and expensive. Asian, Middle Eastern, and certain European languages require additional processes to handle unique linguistic phenomena, such as lack of whitespace, compound words, and multiple forms of the same word. The combination of Basis with the AI-powered search platform of Lucidworks Fusion is expected to provide accuracy and performance enhancements in information retrieval for the digital experience. Lucidworks’ Advanced Linguistics Package provides language processing in more than 30 languages and advanced entity extraction in 21 languages. By accurately analyzing the text, in the language it was written, Rosette helps the Lucidworks Fusion platform deliver the right answers to every user, regardless of where they work or what language they use.


Netlify announced general availability of Netlify Build Plugins

Netlify, creator of the Jamstack web architecture, announced the general availability of Netlify Build Plugins — tools to easily customize and automate CI/CD workflows for Jamstack websites and web applications. Development teams can choose from a catalog of integrations created by developers at Netlify and in the community that can be installed directly from the Netlify UI. They also have the flexibility to build their own plugins using a straightforward API. New capabilities enabled by Build Plugins include the ability to run an end-to-end Cypress test, audit for accessibility with Pa11y, and more. Previously, developers had to set up changes or integrations to the build process from scratch, configuring every command to run at build, downloading and validating every dependency, and writing the code to make it all work. Now any developer can simply choose an available Build Plugin, click “install” from the Netlify UI, and then select sites where the plugin should be enabled. Build Plugins are available for free to use with every Netlify plan.

Syncro Soft updates Oxygen XML suite

Syncro Soft announced the availability of version 22.1 of its XML editing suite of products, Oxygen XML Editor, Author, Developer, Web Author, WebHelp, PDF Chemistry, and the Oxygen Publishing Engine. Oxygen Feedback, the new comments management platform was also updated to version 1.2.

New features and improvements added in Oxygen XML Editor/Author/Developer version 22.1 include: improvements for DITA authoring, customization options and change bars for CSS-based DITA to PDF publishing, enhanced JSON and HTML editing support, the ability to copy content from Author mode and paste it in HTML-aware tools while preserving the styling, the availability of the visual file comparison tool in the Eclipse plugin distributions, better search and replace functionality, API additions, and component updates.

Oxygen XML Web Author includes a new Outline pane to navigate through the document, to provide insight about the location of modifications, hierarchical dependencies between elements, and to visualize the XML structure. It is available by default for DocBook, TEI, and XHTML documents, but it is also possible to configure other frameworks (such as DITA).

Oxygen PDF Chemistry provides new possibilities for the CSS Paged Media processor that allows for PDF output from HTML or XML documents simply by styling them with CSS.

Oxygen Feedback includes a new Dashboard page in the administration interface that aggregates information and statistics for all site configurations, and provides an activity stream to see the most recent activity by your community.

8th Wall launches Face Effects tool for AR facial animations

8th Wall is launching Face Effects, a new cloud tool that enables developers to create facial effects that wrap around someone’s face using augmented reality technology. The face filter developer tools are based on WebAR, which enables AR experiences to be accessed via a web browser instead of an app. 8th Wall Face Effects is designed to give developers and brands control to create face filters that are interactive, real-time, and that live on their own websites. Beyond WebAR, 8th Wall Face Effects can also be used across all devices (iOS/Android and desktops using a webcam) and benefit from no app required. You just click a link to experience it. Developers can choose the asset types, file sizes, and content to maximize the value for their audience.

Fans could connect multiple users together to create a shared shopping experience, and integrate with developers’ preferred analytics, customer relationship management system, and payment systems in virtual try-on products. Developers can simply scan a QR code to open up a cloud editor that adds a 3D object to your face. The edges of virtual sunglasses can stop at the edge of your face because an occluder prevents it from going right through your face. You can put virtual tattoos on your face to see what they look like before you make them permanent. With 8th Wall Face Effects, developers can anchor 3D objects to face attachment points, render face mesh with face components with textures and shaders, and design custom effects. Similar to 8th Wall’s existing World Effects and Image Target AR, Face Effects supports development with web frameworks such as A-Frame and Three.js.  New developers can sign up for a 14-day free trial of the 8th Wall platform. Existing developers can log in and get started using the Face Effects project templates., h/t: VentureBeat

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