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“The wind is at our backs” D. Millard

Update on Visual-Meta

22nd July last year I wrote to Vint: “The ACM Digital Library must surely be a prime candidate for Visual-Meta” and Vint forwarded that email to Pat Ryan, COO of ACM who suggested Wayne Graves, Director of Information Systems. We had a Zoom on the 5th of August and it was a very positive meeting but it was quite clear they were too busy to implement anything new at the time.

Then I turned 53 (2nd June 2021) and decided the next day to suggest further action to Vint, who emailed Vicki Hanson, CEO of ACM, who then re-introduced me to Wayne and I quickly emailed Wayne to apologise for not just going back to him, but he seemed fine.

I met Wayne and his team on the 17th of June and we had a great chat, same as last year, but with more assured support from ACM we decided to propose to the ACM Hypertext 21 Conference organisers (Owen Conlan and Eelco Herder) that the proceedings papers should contain Visual-Meta as a pilot, since it could be hand-added without any coding. This was very promising but then the issue would be to get the organisers of the conference on board…

It just so happens that Dave Millard is currently chair of the ACM Hypertext Steering Committee,  which, since he is advisor on my PhD (thesis on Visual-Meta), was pretty fortuitous!!!

Dave got in touch with the organisers who got on board with the proviso that the production company, Sheridan, might not be able to fit it into their workflow. Of course, this was positive but stressful waiting on Lisa but we got this reply from her yesterday:

“This sounds like a fantastic idea and I agree a perfect fit (wish this was all thought of 2-3 months ago for this year’s use). I’ve cc’d my managers (yes it takes two, lol) and give us a few days to investigate with ACM staff how this should be handled because of indexing and pagination for future citations. My first concern would be pagination would be off and then I think this could be added later as auxiliary material (kinda like the live recorded presentation videos prior to COVID). See I’m already thinking about this on our end and will get back to you when the workflow can be resolved with ACM Pubs and SIG services departments.”

The deal is that we will do all we can to help them add Visual-Meta either as a basic citation, or also with structural metadata. This remains to be seen.

The pitch to them was that Vint and I will present Visual-Meta at a brief session of Hypertext 21 and that they will be credited as the first use of Visual-Meta by an academic publisher. Vint will also write about it in Communications and we built (and continue to improve) the visualisation you saw which Adam Wern coded based on Mark Anderson’s hand-crafted database which any new PDF with Visual-Meta will just slot into, to show some of the potential. Adam is part of our Open Office Hours (Mondays and Fridays) where there has been some great dialog about this with a great bunch of people. The Future of Text was the first book with Visual-Meta and now, with the growing ’tools for thought’ movement/dialog out there, there seems to be more of an appetite to deal with real data interoperability. This is the active group currently:

I am also porting Reader to iOS so that there are more platforms where people can read Visual-Meta augmented documents (it’s free software) and this work means that we can now give anyone who wants it code for parsing Visual-Meta.

So that’s how we persuaded them and this is how it’s going. It didn’t take much, these are clued up people.

Let the document’s speak for themselves and let’s see what they say.  :-)

Published inUpdatesVisual-Meta

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