In Uganda

I’m in Uganda (Kampala) working with a collection of East African countries to help them move towards some agreements on renewable energy policy. Here for two days at the invitation of UNECA and the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), presenting tomorrow.


How is this possible? Well, this presentation brings together two worlds – Book Sprints and Coko. They are looking at a Book Sprint which would also use Editoria. There is some chance they may also need help with Journal tooling for a new journal (East African Journal of Science, Technology and Innovation)… looking into it all.

The presentations so far have been very interesting, covering the renewable energy policy and practices in each of the East African nations. Some interesting facts including the largest use for non-sustainable energy in these regions comes from cooking as most homes, workspaces and restaurants use wood and coal (biomass).

The interesting thing about their use of Book Sprints, is that it is not the book that is important, but the process of generating consensus that the method is so successful at. Its a similar story we have also heard from large NGOs like USAID. It is also what the European Commission were most interested in when I spoke to them last week in Brussels.

OHBM Announcement

Last week I worked with the cool people at the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) and today they have a new announcement.

We are now working closely with the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko) to put together a publishing workflow, and we are grateful to the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) for providing generous support for the development of Aperture.

Coko has extensive experience developing open source publishing components, some of which are used by Elife and other open-access publishers. Their framework could give the Open Science SIG and the broader OHBM community the opportunity to participate in the construction of Aperture. We look forward to establishing even more collaborations with like-minded partners.


Hanging in Athens

I’m going to try and be in Athens every month now to work with the team, setting dev priorities for the month (roadmaps are stored in our READMEs). Awesome bunch – doing great work and heaps of fun to hang out with. Can you believe we have four devs in this office and they account for 4 publishing platforms? (wax, micropubs, Editoria, xpub)… I like that we are punching above our weight by some considerable margin… awesome…

Some pics from the week. Geeking and graffiti from around the ‘hood…


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PubSweet Book Sprint

The Coko community is having a Book Sprint in Cambridge next month. It will be about 10-12 people, and facilitated by and featuring folks from Hindawi, eLife, EBI and Coko! Community making docs for the community.

We will use Editoria in the process for writing the book, which is a classic case of dog fooding. Looking forward to it!

Tim O’Reilly and Heather Joseph join Coko Board

Very happy that Tim O’Reilly is joining our advisory board! A few weeks ago I asked Tim if he would join and he was very gracious to accept. We are very lucky to have him onboard.

“Many of the challenges of decentralized authority – challenges that are stumping the great tech platforms of today – have been solved by scientific scholarship. But traditional science publishing moves too slowly to keep up with today’s hyper-networked world. Using open source technologies to turbocharge the decentralized search for truth is a grand opportunity, and I’m glad to be a part of it.” —Tim O’Reilly

Heather Joseph is also joining!

“Coko is committed to creating a truly open research environment by integrating openness into all of its foundational elements —from technology, to operating standards to governance.  Openness is an essential component of their entire operation, and not an afterthought applied only to outputs. It’s a vision that can have a profound impact on the communications of scholarship, and I’m pleased to help play a supporting role.” —Heather Joseph

… more information here:

XSweet 1.0!

We have 1.0 of the docx -> HTML transformation tool XSweet out today! It also has a new site:

XSweet is a finely crafted tool. It takes docx files, those horrible mangy MS Word files, and translates them into clean, lovely, HTML. XSweet is open source, modular, and very nicely done.

A huge tip of the hat to Wendell Piez (XML guru), and to Alex Theg. As geeky as it sounds, I loved watching these two chat about the issues they encountered making this software. The attention to detail was really unbelievable. Amazing work. XSweet is a finely crafted tool.

More info on Coko

If you want to do a deep dive into why I think this is important, I wrote this some time ago –