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Liquid use of Rich PDFs (auto-created on download)

How does the auto-meta-adding plugin get used by other tools in the Liquid Information Environment?

I have written on the importance of addressability but it can be summed up as simply: If you can’t address it, you can’t address it. This relates to the importance of objects ‘knowing’ what they are. I remember reading about the development of the open-world game Crysis where one of the developers noted that building the AI was not too hard (in his mind), what mattered was that everything in the world should know what it is. For example, a pice of wood needs to know all the properties of wood so that if it is hit by a round or fist it will behave appropriately.

These two points have real application in the world of knowledge work as well, particularly when it comes to interactions in a richly visual space: If we refer to a document it’s not all that useful to use the nonsensical name of the file, it is much more useful to use the actual name of the document, which is rarely the name of the file when we are talking about PDFs. Furthermore, it becomes useful to refer to aspects of the document, such as the author, so that we can have a graph showing either the documents or the authors (or both) as the main nodes, with connections between them. It might further be useful to put the documents on a timeline and cluster by institution or publication. All this can be done easily if the PDFs are imported into the space with these pieces of meta information attached.

In the Liquid world that means it would be possible to visualise as described above in Liquid | View and in the Liquid | Reader this can be used to allow the user to simply copy text and have it be an augmented copy, complete with all the citation information when pasted.

I call these the very basic Rich PDF documents, where only the creator information is included. Further information about what’s inside the PDF should be surfaced for the host server or application, as suggested by Chris Gutterdidge, so that manipulations can be done in useful ways, such as showing all citations is contains and so forth.

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Rich PDF

Rich PDF is a PDF document which can be opened and read in a regular PDF reader but which also has further meta-information so that the Rich PDF document can be shared with confidence that it will be readable by any PDF reader but that it will also provide richer interactions for those readers who can access the additional rich-formats:

Augmented Internal Data

  • PDF readable output which can be accessed through any legacy PDF reader software
  • A compressed and embedded copy of the original document which the original software can open and retain full interactivity (with the author’s ability to restrict output)
  • An XML version of the original which can be used by Rich PDF aware applications to make more useful interactive information available
  • An ePub version

Augmented Platform Specific Meta-information

On macOS would be what you find in the ‘Get Info’ window

  • Author name(s)
  • Title
  • Date
  • Publisher
  • etc.

Augmented Interactions

Suggested interactions include:

  • Mouse-Over citations in-document for References sheets with all citation information, which can be clicked on to jump to source
  • ‘Copy’ to include full citation information so that when the copy is Pasted it will paste as a full citation



Rich PDF. Open Access. …

Wednesday meeting with Christopher, Mark and now, Adam Procter. Notions discussed include Open Publishing an a new name for a ‘rich’ Open Access PDF with EXIF was suggested by Chris. Use .tif self describing. Very much in line with my rich PDF notion.

Annotate eprints. No

Paragraph level addressability. Hmmm…

Eprints Labs. THIS is what we will try to make happen. Author can be on both sides of the workflow of course. Could be brilliant to show at The Future of Text.

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