Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Author: Bill Trippe (Page 2 of 36)

Why Aren’t Publishers Moving to XML Repositories More Quickly?

As we start to delve into some of the interim results of our survey of book publishing professionals, there is a great deal of good data to mull over. While the results are preliminary (and we welcome your participation here), some trends are emerging.

One interesting set of data points surround how publishers are viewing XML, how extensively they work with it, and what technologies they are using to support the management of the XML. Among those using XML, it’s significant that only about half have invested in some kind of storage mechanism specifically for XML, including both relational databases and dedicated XML repositories such as Mark Logic server.

While that overall number might or might not be so striking, I am struck by what some publishers feel is a barrier to adopting an XML repository, namely, the “Challenge of building XML knowledge, skills, or awareness.”  This trumped more traditional barriers to technology adoption such as cost and the maturity of the technology and would seem, on balance, to be a solvable problem.

 

Upcoming Workshop: Managing Smart Content: How to Deploy XML Technologies across Your Organization

As part of next week’s Gilbane Boston Conference, the XML practice will be delivering a pre-conference workshop, “Managing Smart Content: How to Deploy XML Technologies across Your Organization.” The instructors will be Geoff Bock, Dale Waldt, Bill Trippe, Barry Schaeffer and Neal Hannon–a group of experts that represents decades of technical and management experience on XML initiatives.

A tip of the virtual hat to Senior Analyst Geoff Bock for organizing this.

Smart content holds great promise. First with SGML and now with XML, we are marking up content with both formatting and semantic tags, and adding intelligence to electronic information. Using richly tagged XML documents that exploit predefined taxonomies, we are developing innovative applications for single source publishing, pharmaceutical labeling, and financial reporting. By managing content snippets in a granular yet coherent fashion, these applications are revolutionizing our capabilities to meet business needs and customers’ expectations.

What’s working and why? What are the lessons learned from these innovative applications? Does the rapid growth of web-based collaborative environments, together with the wide array of smart content editors, provide the keys to developing other business solutions? There are many promising approaches to tagging content while doing work. Yet we still face an uphill battle to smarten up our content and develop useful applications.

In this workshop, we the five members of the Gilbane practice on XML technologies will share our experiences and provide you with practical strategies for the future. We will address a range of topics, including:

  • The business drivers for smart content
  • Some innovative content management techniques that make authors and editors more productive
  • The migration paths from ‘conventional’ documents to smart content
  • How to apply industry-specific taxonomies to tag content for meaning
  • The prospects for mash-ups to integrate content from disparate application communities

We will discuss both the rapidly developing technologies available for creating, capturing, organizing, storing, and distributing smart content, as well as the organizational environment required to manage content as business processes. We will identify some of the IT challenges associated with managing information as smart content rather than as structured data, and map strategies to address them. We invite you to join the conversation about how best to exploit the power of XML as the foundation for managing smart content across your organization.

Once Upon a Time…

… there was SVG. People were excited about it. Adobe and others supported it. Pundits saw a whole new graphical web that would leverage SVG heavily. Heck, I even wrote a book about it. 

Then things got quiet for a long time…

However, there are some signs that SVG might be experiencing a bit of a renaissance, if the quality of presentations at a recent conference is a strong indication. It’s notable that Google hosted the conference and even more notable that Google is trying to bigfoot Microsoft into supporting SVG in IE, a move that would substantially boost SVG as an option for Web developers.

So a question for those out there interested in SVG. Where are some big projects out there? Are there organizations creating large bases of illustrations and other graphical content with SVG? I would love to talk to you and learn about your projects. You can email me or comment below.

UPDATE: Brad Neuberg of Google, who is quoted in the InfoWorld article linked above, sent along a link to a project at Google, SVG Web, a JavaScript library that supports SVG on many browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. According to the tool’s website, using the library plus native SVG support, you can instantly target ~95% of the existing installed web base.

UPDATE: Ruud Steltenpool, the organizer for SVG Open 2009, sent a link to an incredibly useful compendium of links to SVG projects, tools, and other resources though he warns it is a little outdated.

eBook Strategy Offering Now Available

As we have mentioned before, we have been very interested in leveraging the knowledge base we developed from our successful digital publishing study, Digital Platforms and Technologies for Publishers: Implementations Beyond "eBook."

With that in mind, we have moved forward and developed a strategic consulting offering, "Implementing Digital Publishing." 

Consultation Description

Publishers face a wide range of strategic and tactical decisions when looking to start or build their digital publishing programs, and while publishers have taken many paths to success with digital product development, marketing, sales, and distribution, the organizational underpinnings of the most successful efforts have the common characteristics of technology spending consistent with business needs and opportunities. 

The Gilbane Group’s Content Strategies service is offering a three phase consultation that is aimed at both management and operations personnel in educational, professional, trade, association, STM, and specialty publishing. The goal of the consulting is to assess the publisher’s current systems involved in digital publishing—planning, editorial and production, rights and royalties, manufacturing, promotion and marketing, sales and licensing, and distribution and fulfillment—and to provide decision-making support and guidance. The consulting targets and sets the course for achieving effective and efficient digital publishing business models.

Stakeholders

Depending on the size and scope of the publishing company, as well as the particular consultation phases sought, the stakeholders addressed in these consultations may include Publisher, VP and Editorial Director, VP of Production Services, VP of Digital Publishing, VP of Marketing, VP of Royalties, VP of Manufacturing, VP of Rights, VP of Business Development., VP of Digital Licensing, VP of Sales, VP of IT and CIO or CTO.

The Educational and Directional phase of the consultation (Phase One), which may be purchased as a standalone service or in conjunction with Phase Two and Phase Three, provides the publisher with a high-level assessment of the publisher’s current state of digital publishing capability across the multiple publishing systems. This phase concludes with a report and briefing that defines the publisher’s current state of digital publishing and provides recommendations for improving digital publishing capabilities.

The Analysis, Planning, and Recommendations phase of the consultation (Phase Two) moves the publisher from a general assessment of the conditions and challenges it faces in moving toward a more effective digital publishing business by providing an in-depth plan that a publisher can use to undertake its transformation into a more effective and efficient publisher for digital success. This phase concludes with 18-month action plans and on-site presentations and discussions of findings and recommendations with appropriate stakeholders.

The Implementation Support phase of the consultation (Phase Three) is designed to provide structured support as the publisher follows through on recommendations from Phase Two. Services within the Phase Three purview can include implementation progress reports, regular client visits, retainer and query programs, RFP assistance, prospective vendor research, and bid and implementation document review.

For a full data sheet describing the offering or for other information, you can email me or contact Ralph Marto via email or phone, 617.497.9443 ext 117.

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