The Hybrid Publishing Consortium's
A-machine software ecology provides publishers with the latest Open Source multi-format workflows.
Firstly we have developed TypeSetr with LShift Limited. TypeSetr specifically addresses multi-format document transformation, eg., POD, EPUB, HTML, etc., and the creation of a single source structured master document.
Then as examples we combine the following. Firstly, IMCC’s freizo which uses Mongo DB and provides digital collection management technologies for migration and version control. Secondly, Tamboti from the Heidelberg Research Architecture to explore meta description frameworks for a publication’s media. The technologies we are using are aimed at semi-automated dynamic publishing processes—layout, multi-format conversion, distribution, rights management, reuse and remixing, translation, synchronized updates, payments and reading metrics.
A goal is to lower the cost of innovation for publishers allowing them to carry out their own research and experiments, with the added benefit of open source code and knowledge contributions back to a scaleable public infrastructure.
A second goal is to bring the ideal of universal access to independent publishing, as is taking place in scholarly publishing with the Open Access (OA) movement. We recognise that this is a political issue, involving–policy, economics and technology, which needs multi-stakeholder agreement to move technology developments forward.
We have three research tracks; 1. Examining publishing workflow and identifying open source projects to support these varied workflows. 2. Building software for multi-format transformation based on a ‘single source’ architectures. 3. Promoting an 'application framework' and API model to allow interoperability between open source providers.
All of these tracks feed into the umbrella theme of 'Designing the Book of the Future'. The theme represents the ambitions of our research to enhance the technology of Moveable Type and move beyond the industry pressures to make simple copies of the book form, such as the eBook, which even degrade or completely lose typographic on mnemonic qualities of the paper book.