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My review of the JATS conference which Author was one of the sponsors of: It was useful to present the Future of Text book and to get to know some of the people but it’s an odd world publishing–interactive word processing systems producing flattened semantically barren PDF or Word documents and huge resources are then used to make the content semantically available.

I hope JATS can become something like this but currently it is quite a loose standard which needs modifications for different uses so exporting as JATS isn’t very useful unless the export has been tailored to the specific JATS ingestion needs.

The academic world is way too focused on superficial aspects of how a citation should be shown and how typesetting should be done. This is like Martin Luther King spending the day at the barbershop before doing his great speech. It’s ludicrous.

Write semantically and visually mark up that which matters to the author, such as bolding and so on. Leave the font and page layout to the reader software. Implement citations with a basic set of references but also able to support link types. This is not ballistic engineering, this is pretty basic. I hope Author can somehow help this along since another thing I kept hearing is that ‘people want Word’ to write in but they think of ‘Word’ as also being Google Docs–in other words, the industry belief is that people want to write in familiar styles. That makes sense, but maybe we can push them more towards meaning and away from faffing with fonts and layouts. Over.

Published inThoughts

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