Before Amazon, there was the Online BookStore (OBS), now Open Book Systems (OBS). We maintained a list of all the publishers who had online presences; it took up about half a computer screen in 1994. Before starting the Online BookStore, our company packaged books for publishers, one of which was John Quarterman’s The Matrix (Digital Press, →
OBS applauds Macmillan Publishers for actively defending our First Amendment rights in publishing Michael Woolf’s controversial book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Rather than bowing to White House demands that Macmillan cease and desist from publishing the book, which offers insights into the current administration’s White House, Macmillan subsidiary Henry Holt and Co. pushed →
Poet John Ashbery died this past Sunday, stilling a genius voice whose insight and humor truly broke through to the other side. My husband introduced me to him in the 1970s. We read Houseboat Days aloud and laughed together at “The Serious Doll.” We were delighted when Ashbery accepted our invitation to come and give →
During these challenging times, some may find it tempting to try and purge the online environment of propaganda and hate speech — but we must not succumb to the siren song of censorship, whose blade, given time, cuts equally right, left, or center. Danger signs manifest themselves today — some gatekeepers of our internet infrastructure →
In 2007, Christopher Hail began to contribute to the scholarly research on the work of Domenico Scarlatti by authoring an erudite, witty, and successful website dedicated to the Italian composer. He contributed to it daily, until his death in 2014. Given the relevance of Hail’s research, his family estate resolved to publish the content of →
We at OBS saw the XML spider approaching twenty years ago, and talked about it at the Summer Publishing Institute at the University of Virginia in 1997. Today, Enterprise Content Management systems are a multi-billion-dollar industry that’s growing at 15% per year.
Figure: “The XML Spider”: With a database of content tagged in XML, a publisher can code once and use many times, opening up new revenue streams through re-purposing their content. Please note: this is an archival document showing XML-centric workflow that was created by Laura Fillmore in 1997 as part of her presentations at the University of Virginia Summer Publishing Institute. It’s in need of updating!
A major instance of just such an update came recently with the Copyright Clearance Center’s acquisition of Ixxus, a publishing solutions provider. Together, the CCC and Ixxus are creating a revolutionary content management system that enables publishers to create a live hive of inter-operable content, chunked to the least common denominator. This “single source of truth” serves to centralize and standardize the publishing process, from file management to workflows to distribution and beyond. Pedagogical interface (PI), here we come!
Public elementary schools appear to be eliminating the teaching of cursive writing. Early introduction to block letters today apparently only readies youngsters to recognize letters on a keyboard and begin typing ASAP, thumbing in texts and tweets on screens, rather than serving as a precursor to learning cursive writing as a primary means of documentation →
The big news to come out of BookExpo America (BEA) in Chicago this month is the early sounds of a merger of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), managers of the publishing industry’s EPUB standard, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) and CEO →
Talk about the publishing cycle, long-form! Last fall, Margaret Atwood delivered her new novel “Scribbler Moon” to the Future Library Project (http://www.futurelibrary.no/), to be read in 100 years after it is printed on some of the thousand tiny new trees that the project has just planted in the forest outside of Oslo, Norway, home of →
Dr. Vint Cerf’s keynote at the AAUP Annual Meeting underlined the criticality of digital preservation, noting how vulnerable our civilization has become as we race to the cloud, no strategy in place to preserve the recorded thoughts, ideas, art and information that we all generate, and which we’ve inherited from generations past. Our collective preservation →