PKP Sprint 2016: XML and Substance

April 29th, 2016 by  | Comments Off on PKP Sprint 2016: XML and Substance

The XML Parsing & Production Group at the 2016 PKP Sprint in Montreal achieved a number of major milestones made possible by the participation of the developers of Substance Editor. PKP recently entered into a collaboration with Substance to incorporate their WYSIWYG tools into our XML pipeline, and this was the first time that everyone could work together in the same room on this project. Participants included:

  • Juan Alperin (PKP)
  • Michael Aufreiter (Substance)
  • Oliver Buchtala (Substance)
  • Gagandeep Dhillon (McGill)
  • Alex Garnett (PKP)
  • Adam Hyde (Coko)
  • Kassim Maschioudi (PKP)
  • Dulip Withanage (Heidelberg; Remote)

During the first day, the XML group focused on JATS implementation specifics. Substance is currently working on a contract to add modular JATS import/export support to their WYSIWYG browser editor, and we took this opportunity to clarify expectations around importing legacy content versus following stricter subsets of JATS such as JATS4R, and how much of this functionally to expose via UI hooks in the editor. We then participated in a group-wide tutorial on adding these UI hooks for additional content types to the Substance codebase, led by the substance developers — a very timely and valuable learning opportunity for PKP to continue adding features to our own Substance implementation.


On the second day, after meeting to establish the Substance Consortium, we decided to work on the first prototype of Substance Editor integrated into the PKP XML pipeline. This meant adding some new import/export APIs to the current branch of Substance as well as the the PKP XML pipeline, with the result that it is now possible to edit a native JATS document in the browser immediately after it’s been parsed from Word or PDF input by our stack, using a WYSIWYG interface that keeps thing simple for regular users, and then resume the HTML/PDF/ePub creation process at the tail end of our pipeline using the just-edited document. We’ll be looking to ship this functionality along with OJS 3, and may offer a preview for users of our standalone XML stack in the coming weeks.

This was also the first time that PKP’s newest developer, Kassim Maschioudi, had a chance to meet with the rest of the team in person, as he normally works remotely from Montreal. Kassim continues to be a major asset to all of our XML Parsing&Production efforts.

In all, it was a highly productive couple of days, and laid very important groundwork for the next several months of development work. Funding for this and continuing work on our XML pipeline has been provided by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.


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