Open Feedback Publishing System launched

by Liza Daly

O’Reilly is announcing today that the in-progress book, Programming Scala, has been released using the Open Feedback Publishing System, a platform I built for them that allows public commenting on digital manuscripts.

Users can comment using the web site, read the entire in-progress text of the book (updated as the authors revise it), or follow comments via an Atom feed. Readers who comment will be credited in the final edition of the book.

Authors do not ever need to administer or even visit the web site, as they receive the comments incorporated back into the manuscript source. To my knowledge this is the first public commenting system that works in this way, using
DocBook XML to both render the content and integrate the feedback in a contextually-relevant manner. It wouldn’t be possible without XML.

OFPS was built using the DocBook XSLT, Subversion version control and the Pylons web framework. Two books were on my lap constantly: The Definitive Guide to Pylons (also available for free online!) and Essential SQLAlchemy (I was a technical editor on this but apparently forgot it all).

More information in the post announcing this on the O’Reilly Labs blog.