Xpos're Software
For Rich Internet Publications

Rich Internet Publications

A Rich Internet Publication ('RIP', sometimes also named 'enhanced publication') is a digital scholarly publication with additional material, like research data, interactive models, video, a larger set of images than in an average article can contain, or extra information about related topics. There is a growing interest in publishing results together with the underlying data and interactive content. This enables the reader to explore research objects, to experiment with the included data sets and to validate the author's conclusions.

Xpos're Software

The Xpos're tools are designed for authoring and displaying RIPs. Xpos're is flexible and not bound to the common publication structure of specific disciplines.

The basic Xpos're publication consists of slides with a fixed layout in landscape format (see demo). Each slide corresponds with a section or subsection of an article. The fixed layout (which may differ from slide to slide) gives an author full control of the collocation of text, images, charts, videos, et cetera and the Flash interface allows precise positioning. However, also other output formats are supported, both pure HTML - Javascript (because Flash is not available  on certain hardware platforms) and long fluid scrolling text.

An Xpos're publication can be used as extra "showcase" on a personal or institutional website in combination with a PDF file of an article, which has been published elsewhere. Each slide can be linked to the related page in the PDF, while the added data and functionalities provide a deeper insight in and greater visibility of the research project.

The software comprises a Flash-based document reader, which requires text encoded in XML, and a set of extensions (plug-ins) that extend the basic functionality of the reader. For a large part this XML is similar to HTML, but thanks to the additional XML tag names a complex nesting of divs with various class names can be avoided. The extensions are used for display of specific types of multimedia with additional functionality, such as zoomable images, videos and interactive maps.

Small, customizable XML templates simplify the authoring process. They predefine the position of text columns and images. For each slide the author can deviate from the template and specify positions locally. When fixed layout is not important because fluid output options will be used, positioning can be disregarded.

The document reader displays the text as slides, is to be used for feedback during authoring and can also be uploaded to a web server to publish the publication. It can also generate Flash-free output in HTML, in two flavors, namely a slide based version that uses Javascript and mimics exactly the slides in Flash, and a plain HTML text (single page), which, for example, can be used to create e-books with the help of programs such as Calibre.

In addition, this plain HTML text can also be input for the Xpos're HTML reader: an HTML-Javascript tool with a highly flexible user interface, which displays the content in a format similar to most scientific journals using the slide structure for paging, but disregarding any fixed format instructions (see demo). In comparison with a regular HTML document it has many extra options, like switching between paging and full text display, highlighting concepts marked up in the text, extra sidebar information and look-up of any selected word in the text through Google or other suitable search engines, which are to be specified by the author. An ample set of options allows users to customize the interface according to their hardware and personal preferences.

Layered information

Interactivity means reading on-line, which requires a suitable text: not too long, easily scanned by the human eye and preferably with different levels of detail. Essentials are communicated first, and detailed information should be available for those who want to learn more. Xpos're encourages but does not enforce such a writing style. Each slide may start with a short summary, followed by the core message and optional continuation text of any length.

An other feature of RIPs is integration: related parts of the text are linked to each other, discussions on findings are connected to the related data, and vice versa. Xpos're supports these requirements by various types of internal links.


Xpos're software:
  1. Document reader (Flash)
  2. Extensions (Flash, HTML-Javascript)
  3. HTML Reader (HTML-Javascript)
Xpos're output:
  1. Text as Flash slides (text columns, images): Flash Document Reader
  2. Text as HTML slides (text columns, images): directly in browser
  3. Text as a single, plain HTML document: directly in browser
  4. Text as a structured HTML document ('pages' i.e. sections of an article, or single text) with extras: HTML Reader

© Xpos′re 2013