Draft for the GSoC Application Abstract (Timo Stollenwerk)

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The publishing process of a magazine usually requires a lot of manual work carried out by experts (e.g. content editors, designers) working together on a document. In a regular publishing worklow, the content is often exchanged between the deployed applications (e.g. word editor, CMS, DTP program) by using the clipboard and simply copying and pasting the content. This duplication of the content may lead to inconsistency of data, additional work when content changes, and a lack of flexibility during the publishing process.

A consistent tool chain that supports the complete publishing process and integrates workflow allows for a holistic approach for creating various kinds of publications. The content can be created, managed and documents and their status can be tracked. Further, the data consistency is kept between applications.

There are Open Source Content Management Systems available that already allow for workflows and that can handle and process source documents of arbitrary types. Furthermore, they support version control, locking of currently edited documents as well as and import and export of content data.

Accordingly, the extension of an existing Content Management System to an end-to-end publishing solution seems to be a reasonable task. Such an extension needs to be able to read, write, and process XML-based Scribus documents. This can be achieved by accessing the XML source tree of Scribus documents via standardised and platform independent XML processing technologies like XPath, the Document Object Model (DOM), the Simple API for XML (SAX) and XSLT.

Scribus and the Content Management System ought to communicate over the WebDAV protocol which is an HTTP extension for distributed authoring. This would enable Scribus to not only interoperate with the Content Management System, but with a wide variety of other Applications (CVS, Subversion, Apache Webserver, most Operation Systems etc.). By integrating the WebDAV client into the Scribus interface, designers can open and save remote documents from a server using their familiar environment.

For implementation, the Content Management System Plone is the preferred choice of the author, but the final choice should be made after reconciliation with the Scribus community.

The original proposal with an example workflow and technical details is available here: