Author: Simon Worthington

Street MBA, technologist, art freaker, dreampunk, organiser, media activist, publisher and book nut. Co-founder of Mute Magazine Skilled as an artist at Falmouth Art School, The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London and at CalArts, Valencia, California.
Hybrid Lecture Player interface

Hybrid Lecture Player interface

‘Finally Getting the Message: McLuhan’s Media Practice’
A lecture by Graham Larkin given at the Marshall McLuhan Salon, Canadian Embassy, Berlin, in 2011

A publishing research prototype by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium

View the player –

The Hybrid Lecture Player is a new open source platform release that allows you to turn lecture documentation into a multi-format publication.

The case study focuses on the long-running video documentation of an insightful lecture by the historian and curator Graham Larkin on Marshall McLuhan’s own experimental publishing and media practice. The player unpacks the lecture’s sections to transform it into a hybrid lecture environment that reveals the knowledge contained in the video in exciting ways, encouraging users to watch it further and engage with McLuhan archives.

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Otlet diagramBook Remixing #03 is the third in a series of workshops for designing and making new types of hybrid books. The hybrid book, or unbound book, is an experiment to investigate what happens once the book is free of its current form of a printed book and usable in multiple and malleable digital forms. Continue Reading…

The workshop (closed) is part of an ongoing series of events and research publishing for coordination and interoperability between stakeholders in the open source digital publishing research community.

In the workshop we would explore these three topics:

  •     What standards are we each using in our workflows
  •     What do these standards need to address in our workflows
  •     Looking towards interoperability in API standards for multi-format publishing

Date: 2nd and 3rd July 2014 at the Hybrid Publishing Lab, Innovation Inkubator, Leuphana University, Lüneburg Continue Reading…

Organised by Open Knowledge Foundation, UK and taking place in London and online.


The event will be a good opportunity to work with some great people, try out news tools and learn some digital  publishing workflows. Teams are looking a visualisation tools, digital editing and content processing workflows in WordPress. Having a road test of Textus should be an interesting ride, fingers crossed. Textus is the OKF web annotation tool set. Hopefully its moved on from its rockier start back in 2012 when I last tried an install without much luck, if not hopefully the group can pitch in and help fix things.

Textus –

Event details

When: 25th January 2014, 11am – 6pm (if 11am is too early for you it’s OK to join later!)

Online: Google Hangout + IRC (#okfn on freenode)

In Person: Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NG
Map link

Who: Anyone interested in literature, philosophy and taking these online

Eurozin ejournals

The annual Eurozine conference takes place this weekend in Oslo bringing together editors from over eighty cultural journals from across Europe. Continue Reading…

European MOOCs

European MOOCs

On then 26 September the European Commission launched the web portal project ‘Open Education Europa‘.

The portal is a gateway for information and research on Open Education Resources and MOOCs.

The project is part of a wider programme of digital up-skilling in schools and universities across Europe called Opening up Education.

You can also follow the project on Twitter @OpenEduEU

A specimen sheet of typefaces and languages, by William Caslon I

A tribute to St Brides, the event venue and type library. English: A specimen sheet of typefaces and languages, by William Caslon I, letter founder; from the 1728

An exciting publishing conference takes place in London on the 24th September called Publish! The event is organised by Media Futures and is in partnership with REACT, both media research organisations. Media Futures ran a similar event in July 2012, ‘Publish! New Players, New Innovations‘ which showcased an interesting set of digital and multimedia publishing project. REACT ran an innovations prototyping programme exploring new forms of digital publishing in early 2013, called Books and Print Sandbox.

If you happen to be in London on the 24th then pop along to the St Brides venue off Fleet Street. Alternatively you can follow the event on Twitter or via the event portal Lanyrd.

The event programme can be found here


Aizkolariak (wood chopping) on the Trinitate Plaza in San SebastiánPicture: Aizkolariak (wood chopping) on the Trinitate Plaza in San Sebastián

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium, the publishing technology infrastructure project of the Hybrid Publishing Lab, looks into algorithms that underly digital publishing development, in a series of articles on our notepad blog. Starting with ‘Operational Transformation’ (OT) which underpins collaborative editing.

Issues and Experiences in Designing Real-time Collaborative Editing Systems. Professor Sun Chengzheng. Google Tech Talks, 2008.

Collaborative editing is making slow, halted, but significant progress into the field of text editing. Most people will be familiar with Etherpad and GoogleDocs, some people might have heard of MS Office 365, and in the mist of Internet mythology, 2008, there is Google Wave. All of these pseudo-real-time editors are using the OT algorithm for collaborative editing. There is an in depth comparison of Google’s and Microsoft approaches to the new office products by TechRepublic. But what is obvious is that the move away from the isolated authoring of the desktop word processor or DTP tools is on the horizon. Both these main word processor providers, Google and Microsoft, are now cloud based, with MS Office moving to subscription purchase only as of 2013.

OT had its origins back in the 1980s with work on ‘software versioning systems’ as used by GitHub, with an algorithm called GROVE (GRoup Outline Viewing Edit).

With the short comings being addressed in the 1990s by the likes of Professor Sun Chengzheng, of Singapore University, developing the OT algorithm.

OT was designed for collaborative editing on networks, like the internet, with long time delay in communication, known as high latency. With a potential 64,000 km round trip for a document between to collaborators on the internet, the latency is at a minimum of 200ms. Where as a word processor user expects feedback times of under 100ms, so something has to give. It could be said that OT fudges, or fakes, real-time collaboration to achieve the appearance of real-time editing for the user. If multiple users are editing a document the potential variations quickly spirals out of control once you are above three users, making the computation problem very hard to solve.

OT’s trick, which is carried in it’s name ‘Transformation’, is to shuffle around in the background all the potential scenarios, or potential ‘Transformations’, and distribute them to the different users computers. For real-time collaborative editing, not every character typed needs to be distributed to all users simultaneously, hence this background shuffling of potential ‘Transformations’ can take place. But what needs to happen is consistency and convergence, hence this background shuffling will enable feedback to a user who goes to edit a line of text on their own screen that happens to have been deleted by another user earlier, but wasn’t updated in time to refresh the editors screen.

The Node.js the Javascript framework is also using OT in the form of Share.js. Share.js was written by a former Google Wave engineer and is Open Source and in the notes on the site shows how difficult the real-time collaborative editing problem has been, with Google Wave taking two years to build and the engineer saying it would take the same amount of time to rebuild. In a way Etherpad points to difficulties of developing OT. If you look at Etherpad’s text editing functionality, it does real-time well, but its a long way from being a word processors, about fifteen steps away, but these are steps that will get made, then word processing will become a whole new ball game. 

Operational Transformation Frequently Asked Questions and Answers



Kuda book archiveThe Hybrid Publishing Consortium is taking part in a two day workshop on publishing from archives ‘Archive/Live Archive/UnArchive & Public Library workshop’, Novi Sad – Serbia, as part the programme called Art and Aesthetics Education Expanded.

Hybrid Publishing Consortium is taking part in the workshop to examine the publishing workflow of the digital scholar so that we can understand how single source can fit into these workflows. The result of the workshop for the Hybrid Publishing Consortium will come out of the workshop with a number of documented workflows that we will then use on our single source software design.

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Status by Simon Worthington 8 years ago

Testing out EdX in anticipation of the their open source release. Yuk this is a factory system or what.

A series of workshops being held at the Transmediale festival
Berlin 30.1 – 2.2

Rue Jacob. Paris, 1910

Rue Jacob. Paris, 1910. Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris. © BHVP – Roger-Viollet

‘The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed’, William Gibson.

Organised by Simon Worthington and the Hybrid Publishing Consortium, the four days of Post-digital Publishing workshops are meant to contribute, even if on a small scale, to a  ‘future re-distribution’ of open source and indy publishing. While an imminent deluge of books is already underway, as the book goes digital and universities open their libraries with Open Access publishing, we will look at the ways in which to engage with these re-distribution processes, as well as explore cyber-librarianship, DIY publishing tools, indy infrastructures and the ongoing battle for the re-imagining of the University in the digital age.
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The workshop will explore how video is being used in the new wave of distance learning software packages recently termed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We’ve take the liberty of removing the ‘Massive’ part to demonstrate our preference to examine the learning aspect and to question the motives for this optimistic idea of a wide reach.

The workshop will have three contributions, firstly The Hybrid Publishing Consortium who are examining how textual research material can technically be related to video in a set of open source MOOCs, by testing a learning package in five different platforms; Kaltura, P2PU, Matterhorn, Google Course Builder and edX (if it gets released).

In addition Dr Shaun Hides and Jonathan Shaw of Coventry University’s Department of Media will be attending and present their open media courses.

Adding the perspective of small cultural organisations use of video and learning contexts, Caroline Heron from Mute will represent the London based online video project ‘Common Practice Video Network’.

Hybrid Publishing Consortium, Open source MOOC research –
Coventry University’s Department of Media –

What: Video Vortex 9 – workshop –
When: 1. March 2013 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Where: Lüneburg, Germany