“If there are documents you really care about: Print them out!” (Vint Cerf, 2015)
||“If there are documents you really care about: Print them out!” (Vint Cerf, 2015)
||ELPUB2016. Positioning and Power in Academic Publishing: Players, Agents and Agendas, 20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing, 7–9 June 2016 in Göttingen, Germany
||With theses words (only “documents” substituted for the original “photos”) Vint Cerf, one of the ‘fathers of the internet’ and now Google Vice President, warned in 2015 that all our photos – and obviously, documents and research data, too – might disappear soon and that our century may become the “Digital Dark Age”. To avoid this, Cerf is working on a solution named “digital vellum”: It shall provide a platform that can preserve any documents, the software used to create and work with them, the operating system needed for this software and even an emulation of the appropriate hardware. But it may take quite some time before this platform will be available. In the meantime, the good old paper is the only medium that surely can and will survive more than 50 years – the maximum now expected for simple formats like .txt and .pdf files. Even Microfilms (also not usable without technical means) may not survive more than 200 years. But how do we print out digital documents created for and by research: short miscellanea, articles and papers, collections of them and monographs, and in recent years even facebook postings or twitter messages? We write these documents in a dedicated (text) program, sent them to the publisher, who may forward them after several transmissions forth and back with the author(s) to a layouter, again followed by some corrections requiring exchange of the file(s) …_ and finally they may appear in print and / or online repositories. Taking into account that all participants in the process today are (or should be) well familiar with web-based Content Management Systems and – hopefully – the concept of markup languages, it is simply astonishing that there is no system yet combining the advantages of both. Such a combination could not only serve to shorten the publishing process but also provide the ecosystem for online repositories and web-based collaboration while the results – printable documents – could be updated regularly and made available via book-on-demand and as ePublications. There may be some solutions providing such a system used by publishers “in-house”, but if so, they are not available for free. The paper will propose such a system based on Free and Open Source Software with a simple proof-of-concept.
||LaTeX, Content Management Systems, Free Software,
||file.pdf (123,946 bytes)
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