I have set up a website for Scholarly HTML at http://scholarlyhtml.org. The site is intended to hold some key documents about Scholarly HTML, what it is, lists of tools etc. It will be populated as time allows. I will announce this on the Scholarly HTML mailing list now, and invite people from Beyond the PDF when it is a bit more mature.
We are going to continue with document authoring taking place over on the EtherPads provided by the Open Knowledge Foundation – I will call for people to review and update documents from time to time, and when there is consensus I will post them to the site. I am happy to give other responsible adults those powers as well if they want them. The EtherPad entry point is: http://scholarly-html.okfnpad.org/1.
I am trying out a WordPress deployment pattern I have been thinking about for a while to use the WordPress ‘stack of posts’ as a version control mechanism – every version of every document is a post, and is intended to be immutable (that’s a governance issue). There will be a WordPress page for each node in the site, but it won’t have any content, rather it will run a query to find the last post (as opposed to page) from a particular category. For example, The faq page at http://scholarlyhtml.org/faq/ runs a query to find the latest post labelled as faq – eg http://scholarlyhtml.org/2011/03/25/faq-2011-03-25/. The point of this is to get a full revision history in a simple way.
My experience with EtherPad is that it is great for collaboration and awful for formatting, so I am proposing to use wiki-style markup in the pad – making the job of publishing much easier. There are a number of such formats. I was introduced to asciidoc recently. It has rich formatting for technical documents and an established toolchain for creating HTML, PDF and EPUB. It is a bit finicky and I’m not sure if it is the best candidate for a format to support authoring of Scholarly HTML but it does seem to be more complete than many. Rending EtherPad documents is as easy as this:
curl http://okfnpad.org/ep/pad/export/schtml-core/latest?format=txt | asciidoc -vs - > core.html
That creates a core.html file. To post it to the site I can use this command to push the content to WordPress as an unpublished document with the category ‘core’:
blogpost.py -vu -d html -t "Scholarly HTML core" -c core post core.html
As I get time I will change the markup in the EtherPads over to asciidoc and invite the collaborators back to work on them – happy to discuss alternative formatting arrangements if anyone objects to asciidoc.
Copyright Peter Sefton, 2011-04-15. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia. <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/au/>
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