EP Topic News: 13th December 2001
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We publish topic news occasionally with a separate page for each update, ensuring that links to our email alerter service continue to remain current.
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the term publishing dead?
Internet self-regulation study
GUIDE Professional Publisher
MGI Zoom Image Server
Xara Online Dreamweaver Extensions
UK Publishing sector analysis
"The future of print and publishing"
Adobe After Effects 5.5
Lightweight XML Language Validation Spec
eLearning Award Winners
XML into databases
Adobe acquires Fotiva
ERPANET - digital preservation
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography
DOM Level 2 HTML Last Call
EC R&D project workshops
Euromap Language Technologies news
First Monday December 2001
Developing portals - webcast
Library Link Newsletter
BadTrans worm information
Digital rights management
Online Humanities resources hub
InternetWriter 2nd Edition
O'Reilly sample chapters online
The Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford (PCMLP) has been awarded a contract by the European Commission for a three-year research project under the Safer Internet Action Plan. The study, referred to as IAP-CODE, aims to conduct research into self-regulatory efforts in various media in Europe and will also assist self-regulatory bodies in developing and implementing their codes of conduct.
For readers of El.pub who go back a bit in the electronic publishing industry (apologies to you all!) the following news item may find some resonance. One of our group, Steve Zwicky of JCafe, wrote to us to announce that his company has entered into a partnership with United Defense, L.P., to sell and support the GUIDE Professional Publisher suite of IETM (Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals) software. IETMs were a significant part of the US DoD's CALS Initiative - which was aiming to develop information systems for weapons that provided a cradle-to-grave information infrastructure.
JCafe will handle non-DoD sales, as well as all training, support, for GUIDE Professional Publisher which is aimed at "the creation and management of high volume, online, interactive publications or interactive electronic technical manuals (IETMs)". JCafe is also noted for its JCafe LearningCenter, an XML/WebDAV/OPML-based learning content management system (for eLearning and content management).
MGI, a provider of visual media software has announced an agreement with two UK hosting companies, Powernet and RapidHost, whereby the companies will provide hosting services for zoom-enabled images for the small business market, powered by MGI's Zoom Image Server technology. MGI Zoom Image Server allows high-resolution images to be streamed to a web site, providing customers with an extremely close-up view of items (for example, products, art, diagrams or maps), and allowing them to examine the items online in close detail before they make a purchase.
URL: MGI http://www.mgieurope.com/
URL: MGI http://www.mgisoft.com/
URL: RapidHost http://www.rapidhost.co.uk/
URL: Powernet http://www.powernet.co.uk/
Xara Online, have released their Dreamweaver Extension which enables Dreamweaver users to enhance their web pages with the wide variety of web page add-ons called Xara Modules. Xara Modules are designed to enable web page authors to add features into their web site including: custom web graphics, animated photos, scrolling text effects, audio streaming, counters, trackers as well the new form, mail list management and database services.
Dreamweaver users can download the free Extension which will then "automatically provide a new Insert Menu option, enabling users to create and edit Xara Modules directly. When the user has created a Module it is automatically placed in their web page".
URL: Xara http://www.xara.com/
The Communications and Information Industries Directorate of the UK government's Department of Trade and Industry has commissioned Pira International to undertake a Competitiveness Analysis of the UK Publishing Media Sector. The project will be co-managed by UK Publishing Media, an £18 billion alliance of newspapers, magazines and book publishers. The project board wants to work closely with people across the industry including trade associations and companies.
The analysis will take into account the very complex nature and special characteristics of the publishing media sector and plans to cover all parts of the industry, including books, journals, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, business information, directory and database publishing and Internet publishers. It will also encompass a specific study of the impact of e-commerce on the sector. The resulting report and Action Plan will be used to:
- make "practical, achievable recommendations for industry and government to build on the sectors considerable strengths and form effective strategies to deal with the challenges it faces";
- provide a structure for understanding what underpins competitiveness in the sector, now and in future;
- provide policy makers and the sector with a basis for systematic efforts to improve competitiveness;
- promote awareness of the particular issues affecting the competitiveness of the publishing industry as a whole and the constituent sectors.
The DTI and UK Publishing Media want the widest possible industry involvement and participation in this exercise. To ensure your voice is heard send email to Mike Casey at the address below, or visit the project web site.
Readers of El.pub are being requested to take part in the Comprint study entitled: "The future of print and publishing". To take part visit the study web site and complete the online questionnaire which consists of approximately 20 questions. As participant in the web-based questionnaire you will be entitled to download a free copy of this international study. Participants will also have the opportunity to, through the web site, observe the progress of the study and take part in discussion forums.
Adobe's After Effects 5.5, the latest version of the company's motion graphics and visual effects software is due for release. Version 5.5 includes RealMedia export and integration with Alias Wavefront's Maya and Discreet's 3ds max, along with support for additional 16-bit per channel file formats including Maya IFF, RPF, SGI and QuickTime. The software is expected to ship worldwide in the first quarter of 2002 calendar year, at and estimated price of Euro 800 + taxes for the Standard version and Euro 2,000 + taxes for the Production Bundle.
OASIS has released RELAX NG 1.0 as a Committee Specification for validating XML-based languages. According to OASIS, "RELAX NG offers a complimentary alternative to the W3C XML Schema Recommendation, providing an option for developers who value ease-of-use and a middle ground for those adopting multiple schema languages. In support of the new specification, the OASIS technical committee also released the RELAX NG tutorial and RELAX NG DTD compatibility".
URL: OASIS http://www.oasis-open.org/
On 6 December 2001 the winners of European Schoolnet's eLearning Awards for 2001 were unveiled during a special prize ceremony at the EMINENT II conference in Lisbon. The 22 finalist projects were selected from more than 900 entries for the Awards, and showed off their achievements to experts from Ministries of Education and private companies. The winners received up to 10 000 Euros or a laptop for their school.
The European Schoolnet is an international partnership of 23 European Ministries of Education developing learning for schools, teachers and pupils across Europe. The project provides insight into the use of ICT in Europe for policy-makers and education professionals.
URL: European Schoolnet http://www.eun.org/
PXDB is described as "a simple application, written in Python which takes XML files (Chunks) and places them into (any) SQL database. There are also APIs for querying / altering / deleting / ordering / linking. PXDB is like a middle ground between SQL database and XML repository". One can view PXDB as a strange object database on top of SQL storage, with some elements of XML (CPath). The software is considered to be pre-alpha and the author is looking for feedback from developers who use the version which is available to download.
URL: download nxml.zip http://www.pault.com/pault/pxml/nxml.html
URL: demo/description http://www.pault.com/pault/pxml/pxdb.html
Adobe Systems has acquired privately-held Fotiva, a company which develops digital photography software solutions to help consumers manage, store, enrich, and share digital photographs. The acquisition supports Adobe's strategy to provide end users with "hobbyist-oriented" software for editing, enhancing and managing images.
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox essay for December 9, 2001 is a guest column by Don Norman which considers how today's multimedia developers have failed to learn the lessons of their predecessors when designing navigation systems for the DVD format. The outline summary announcing the article suggests that: "designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media: computer software, Internet web pages, and even WAP phones. As a result, the DVD menu structure is getting more and more baroque, less and less usable, less pleasurable, less effective. It is time to take DVD design as seriously as we do web design. The field needs some discipline some attention to the User Experience, and some standardisation of control and display formats". This viewpoint will find particular resonance with those that have been involved in electronic publishing since its earlier days.
ERPANET (Electronic Resource Preservation and Access NETwork), funded by the European Commission, plans to make viable and visible information, best practice, and skills development in the area of digital preservation of cultural heritage and scientific objects. ERPANET will bring together memory organisations (museums, libraries and archives), ICT and software industry, research institutions, government organisations(including local ones), entertainment and creative industries, and commercial sectors (including for example pharmaceuticals, petro-chemical, and financial) to address the challenges posed by the widespread use of digital technologies.
The dominant feature of the ERPANET will be the provision of a virtual clearinghouse and knowledge-base on state-of-the-art developments in digital preservation, the transfer of that expertise among individuals and institutions, and the development of an online and physical community focused on preservation. ERPANET has the following specific objectives, to:
- identify and raise awareness of sources of information about the preservation of digital objects across the broad spectrum of national and regional cultural and scientific heritage activity in Europe;
- appraise and evaluate information sources and documented developments in digital preservation on behalf of the ERPANET user community, and to make available results of research, projects, and best practice;
- provide an enquiry and advisory service on digital preservation issues, practice, technology and developments;
- implement a suite of six thematic workshops to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to address key preservation issues;
- build a suite of eight training seminars based on best practice;
- develop a suite of tools, guidelines, templates for prototype instruments and best practice testbeds and case studies;
- stimulate further research on digital preservation in key areas and encourage the development of standards where gaps and opportunities have been identified;
- stimulate ICT companies and software developers to incorporate some of the preservation lessons into new generations of software.
From, Ross Somerville (Assistant Editor Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Ministry for Culture & Heritage in New Zealand), a reader of El.pub Weekly a notification to other El.pub readers concerning the online publication of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. This is the culmination of two years' work on the part of the DNZB team and their contractors Click Suite, including a particularly intensive final six months. While the site is operational and accessible now, there will be some further developments to it over the next couple of months in the lead up to a public launch in February 2002.
The site contains all 3049 biographies from the five-volume DNZB series (and its parallel Maori-language volumes), fully searchable in a wide variety of ways; over 1800 images to date; and a substantial new feature - "Our Land, Our People" - presenting 'snapshots' of historical events and trends with graphics and text, including a good number of animated and interactive features adapted from the New Zealand Historical Atlas.
The site is best viewed with IE 5.x or Netscape 6.x, and you'll need Flash for "Our Land, Our People". As far as Ross is aware this is only the second such national biographical dictionary to go online (although a number of biographical dictionary projects have issued CD-ROMs), and the only one to offer free access (the American National Biography is a subscription service).
URL: Dictionary developers http://www.mch.govt.nz/history/dnzb/
URL: Click Suite http://www.clicksuite.co.nz
URL: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography http://www.dnzb.govt.nz
The W3C's DOM Working Group have announced the publication of the DOM Level 2 HTML Last Call Working Draft. This specification defines the Document Object Model Level 2 HTML, a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content and structure of HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1.0 documents. The Document Object Model Level 2 HTML builds on the Document Object Model Level 2 Core [DOM Level 2 Core]. The DOM Level 2 HTML is made up of a set of specific interfaces to manipulate the structure and contents of an HTML document. The Last Call review period ends on 7 January 2001.
Email: review comments mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Singleimage Limited is running three workshops for EU R&D project proposers and participants, in the UK during January and March 2002. The workhops are:
- Proposal Writing - 21 January 2002, Cambridge, UK
- Negotiating and Administering EU Research Contracts, 22 January, 2002, Cambridge, UK
- Managing EC Research Projects, 14 March 2002, Cambridge, UK
For more workshop information and booking form, please contact Sue Greig at Singleimage Limited. The company also publish a booklet entitled: "Successful Proposals".
Email: Sue Greig mailto:email@example.com
The Euromap Language Technologies Newsletter is a monthly email-based news service which covers the latest developments in the field of Human Language Technologies from Europe over the past month, aiming to keep readers abreast of upcoming events, EC Research calls and other useful information. The Euromap Language Technologies project aims to provide the following services:
- a full range of information on the language technology community, from R&D to policy makers and suppliers;
- information dissemination: language technology initiatives, (EU supported) research programmes and successful implementation case studies;
- industry workshops and seminars;
- production and dissemination of white papers and best practice reports;
- compilation and frequent updating of key industry contact databases;
- communication networks to help bring together researchers, developers, suppliers and users who wish to co-operate in European projects.
Further information is available via the links below or from project coordinator, Bente Maegaard.
URL: subscribe http://www.hltcentral.org/lists/ciao.php?v=101yeV5uXR6qdL2oeG6mUEwcHBsbH0
URL: newsletter online http://www.hltcentral.org/newsletter
URL: Euromap http://www.hltcentral.org/euromap
Email: Bente Maegaard mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The December 2001 issue of First Monday (volume 6, number 12) is now available online. Feature articles are entitled:
- "Free Software/Free Science";
- "Re-engineering Scientific Credit in the Era of the Globalized Information Economy";
- "Code, Culture and Cash: The Fading Altruism of Open Source Development";
- "The Economics of Software Distribution over the Internet Revisited";
- "Communicating Information about the World Trade Center Disaster: Ripples, Reverberations, and Repercussions";
- "The Day the World Changed: Implications for Archival, Library, and Information Science Education";
- "Libraries, the Internet and September 11".
There is also the monthly book review section.
ITworld.com, in conjunction with IBM, have developed a webcast: "Building a Dynamic e-business Portal" which covers:
- what's new in portal technology;
- web site analysis techniques;
- how to bring together the software components you need to build a tailored portal for your customers, partners and employees;
- collaboration methods;
- content personalisation best practices;
- content management capabilities.
Registration is required to view the webcast.
The Library Link Newsletter of December 2001 includes:
- a viewpoint article, "Preservation in the Digital Age" which considers how material (e-mail, discussion groups, web pages and and the conversion of paper, film and tape records into digital formats) will be available in the future.
- an article (available in pdf) on the subject of licensing: "Model licences and interlibrary loan/document delivery from electronic resources", published originally in the Interlending & Document Supply Journal.
View The Library Link Newsletter online or subscribe to the email alerter service via the web site.
The virus W32/BadTrans.B-mm is being seen in high distribution on the Internet; the virus uses a previously patched vulnerability and is a mass-mailing worm that also delivers a keystroke logging Trojan. These notes, published by Microsoft, provide details on preventing infection, along with links to the download points for patches to the vulnerability.
The Music for New Media newsletter features a review of a Digital Rights Management (DRM) Seminar which provides some background to three companies particularly active in the field: DMDsecure, SealedMedia, and Digital Island.
URL: DRM Seminar http://www.europedrm.com
URL: DMDsecure http://www.dmdsecure.com/
URL: SealedMedia http://www.sealedmedia.com/
URL: Digital Island http://www.digitalisland.net/
The launch of My Humbul brings new functionality to the Humbul Humanities Hub, the leading online Humanities resources for UK higher education. For the first time, users of Humbul's growing database of evaluated sites will be directly alerted to new records relevant to their interests. Once registered with My Humbul, users will be able to access Humbul's increased functionality, including:
- saved searches (investigate Humbul's database of catalogued sites, save a search, save multiple searches using different parameters); - alerting service (weekly email notification of new records matching the user's saved search parameters);
- weekly email notification of new records in a user's chosen Humbul subject.
Dr Michael Fraser, Head of Humbul, said, "My Humbul is a direct response to the needs expressed by our users. Helping humanities professionals access relevant resources in an efficient way is what Humbul is all about." The core of the Humbul Humanities Hub is its searchable catalogue of evaluated online resources. A distributed network of subject specialist cataloguers based in partner organisations is responsible for finding, evaluating and completing the catalogue descriptions for each online resource. The database of evaluated resources is also available through the Resource Discovery Network. The Humbul Humanities Hub is based at Oxford University, UK within the Computing Services' Humanities Computing Unit.
URL: My Humbul http://www.humbul.ac.uk/
URL: Resource Discovery Network http://www.rdn.ac.uk/
"Software Leadership: A Guide to Successful Software Development", is published by Addison-Wesley, and written by Murray Cantor, senior consultant in Rational Software's Strategic Services Organisation. The guide, for developers and managers at all technical levels, addresses the increasing need for software leadership skills within development organisations. Mapping the stages of the software development process to specific leadership tasks, the book introduces a conceptual model of software productivity and provides guidance for implementing management structure within the lifecycle. Pricing and ordering information is avilable via the link below.
URL: Rational Software http://www.rational.com/
The 2nd Edition of the Internet Writer by Jane Dorner has been published. The author also sends useful periodic emails of resources she has discovered of value to authors and content developers working with the web. An eclectic mix, the resources range from the functional (such as Bloomsbury Magazine - writers' area, advice and resources for authors) to the application of new media in advanced interactive electronic publications (a link to Sense of City Road, Cardiff, UK - a poetry photo montage).
URL: Sense of City Road http://www.senseofcityrd.freeuk.com/
URL: Bloomsbury Magazine - writers' area http://www.bloomsburymagazine.com/writersarea/
Sample and beta chapters available from the O'Reilly web site which may whet the appetite of El.pub readers to buy the books (in italics) include:
- "Programming Web Services with SOAP", Chapter 3: Writing SOAP Web Services;
- "Building Wireless Community Networks" Chapter 3: Network Layout;
- "Dreamweaver in a Nutshell", Chapter 6: Managing a Web Site;
- "Physics for Game Developers";
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