We are very pleased to announce that the Public Knowledge Project, responsible for the widely used Open Journal Systems software, have invested ~$25,000 to develop the Open Library of Humanities in-house typesetter, meTypeset. As outlined in our technical roadmap, the ability to parse user-supplied input documents into open XML formats is a key principle of both reduced spending (and therefore a more viable model) and digital preservation. This funding from PKP will allow us to bring the oxGarage fork, meTypeset, up to production standards.
This typesetting software, whose commercial equivalents cost tens-of-thousands of dollars per year to license, essentially converts a user-supplied document into a machine-readable, simpler format that encodes everything that is needed to produce different types of output: PDF, HTML, EPUB etc. In addition, because the format is open and simple, it is a far smaller task to convert, in future, to newer formats should it become desirable to do so.
Finally, because the project is open source, the benefits extend far beyond simply bringing the OLH closer to fruition. Indeed, anybody will be free to include this modular component in their publishing practice, thus further levelling the playing field. We're extremely grateful to PKP for their support and look forward to working on this important technological component of the project.
Image by Cher Amio under a CC BY NC-SA license.