About three years ago, we set out to build a framework for building publishing software with components. Take a component here, a component there, make one on your own, and, presto! you have your custom publishing platform! While the framework itself has matured significantly, we’re not there yet in terms of the available components and how they fit together.
At the same time, we started building a community around this framework, organisations and people looking to innovate within this space and looking for a way to do so. While building a community has to happen in parallel with software development, I think that if you’re doing open source development right, your community will be ahead of the software most of the time. This is certainly the case for us. We envisioned a community that openly shares their experiences and solutions and is willing to collaborate on new ideas, despite basically being competitors, and I can happily (and proudly) say that our community has already reached this ideal.
To close the loop and make PubSweet the go-to framework and component library for developing publishing software, we need to take the lessons from the three systems in production right now (Hindawi’s, EBI’s and eLife’s publishing systems) and incorporate them into PubSweet itself, for everyone to use and benefit from. If we could just get the designers and developers of these systems in the same room, get them to talk to each other, share their custom approaches and try to find commonalities between them… wouldn’t that be awesome? Luckily our community is awesome, and well-versed in that sort of thing, and that’s exactly what’s happening in our event this week!
For the inaugural PubSweet Collaboration Week, starting on May 7th, Coko, EBI, eLife and Hindawi are getting together in Cambridge to make more parts of these systems reusable and add them to PubSweet’s component library. Now that all of the teams have launched their systems to production, the time is right, and our community has a great opportunity to act as a catalyst for sharing the knowledge attained during development and deployment of these various systems. We’ll be hacking/designing away on things like complex file upload interfaces, PDF content extraction, chat components, text editors, data models, reviewer selection interfaces and so much more! The event itself will take place in Cambridge, UK, on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then continue remotely until Monday the 13th, when we’ll take a collective deep breath and hopefully appreciate what we’ve accomplished.
With a concerted effort like this, we’re making a big step towards a production-ready component library for publishing systems. It is our first attempt at anything like this, so do wish us luck! And see you on the other side!