Category Archives: digital-publishing

Po.et Development Update — October 12th, 2017

An open, shared, universal ledger designed to track metadata ownership for digital creative assets

Hey everyone! As many of you probably already know, a large part of the Po.et development team (including myself) is located in Argentina. Buenos Aires has a bounty of talented blockchain developers and it’s awesome to have a strong community to work with and bounce ideas off of. We’re currently working out of the Po.et headquarters in Nashville, TN.

I came over to Nashville to connect with the rest of the team, and I have to say that we’re more proud of the platform’s evolution than ever. We’re actively discussing our product strategy for the next 6–12 months, exciting times ahead!

Closed Issues
These are the tasks we’ve finished since our last update.

#321—This pull request introduces a few fixes and overall improvements to the platform:

  • The ability to log all queries. This can be set in the configuration files for each service separately, via the db.driver.logging attribute.
  • Trusted Publisher’s docker image is now configured to map the port 3001, which we’re using to communicate to a custom Insight server.
  • Errors in Bitcoin Scanner that occur when reading a Bitcoin block are now logged properly
  • A bug with Bitcoin Scanner’s minimumHeight was fixed. This code was also made much more readable, and optimized to reduce the start-up time of this service.
  • A default value for minimumHeight was set in code, which makes it optional in the configuration file.

84a03aa—Introduces a Typescript linting configuration. This sets explicit rules to what Po.et’s code should look like, and also allows us to automatically fix past errors.

#326, #327, #328—This pull request introduces the ability to provide different json configuration files to our frontend, and enable it to work with Netlify.

#317—This pull request introduces the ability to debug the Po.et Node’s code, line-by-line. It also starts moving the platform away from ts-node, which although a great tool, has proven to be unreliable in some cases and introduces an extra layer of complexity.

Open Issues
These are the tasks we’re currently working on.

We’re currently moving our frontend to Netlify, which has proven to be an excellent service. This will greatly simplify our workflow and automatically improve our deployment pipeline for the frontend. You can see this working at http://poetapp.netlify.com/ — this URL will always show the latests changes. We were also able to cheaply create testing and staging environments for the frontend.

For Po.et to function in Netlify, we first need to stop requiring the frontend’s devServer for things to function properly (see web#9). Part of the solution to this problem is moving the Badge’s logic (see poet#261), which we’re tackling right now.

Moving the badges away from the frontend and to the backend will require changing the badge’s URL. We’ll do this transition slowly, giving our Alpha Partners time to update their badges.

On the integrations end, some progress has been made with Wordpress and Drupal’s plugins. While working on them we realized the Po.et protocol can be challenging to new developers, so we’re discussing ideas to offer simplified versions of the protocol through new APIs / interfaces.

That’s all for now guys. Take care and stay tuned!

Hiring

We’re actively looking for talented developers. If you like the project and feel you can contribute, reach out to us at contact [at] po.et.

Join us on Discord!: https://discord.gg/7G2kXmY

Join us on Telegram!: https://t.me/joinchat/GKMQ1kOQSdXVZpN1Rygcdw

Follow us on Twitter!: https://twitter.com/_poetproject

We’re hiring!: https://angel.co/po-et

Visit our Website!: https://po.et/

Check out our GitHub!: https://github.com/poetapp


Po.et Development Update — October 12th, 2017 was originally published in Poet Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Rethinking Ebook Ownership

From www.youtube.com/user/VisualEditions

One of the most common reasons I hear as to why people don’t like reading ebooks is because they like to hold and feel a print book in their hands. In short, the personal attachment readers have with a proper physical book cannot be replicated with an ebook.

I can’t say I disagree with that statement. I too love the experience of a paper book. The weight of the book, the texture of the paper, the sound of pages rustling, the smell… they’re all undeniable parts of the reading experience as much as the words are.

This meta experience is definitely lacking for ebooks. As long as ebooks are regarded as nothing more than the transfer of a print book to an e-reading format, they will continue to exist as a disservice to their native digital nature. Ebooks need to have their ebook-only experience, one that defines it and makes it unique, irreplaceable even, just as the experience of the print book provides. Coming across an article like A Universe Explodes: A Blockchain Book, from Editions At Play does nothing to dissuade me from this opinion.

The article sums up an experiment ran by Editions At Play which challenges the idea of ownership and uniqueness of an ebook.

With a short 20-page novella entitled A Universe Explodes, Editions At Play straight up wonder that if “[b]ooks grow in value (both emotional or financial) as they age” than “can be true of a digital book (or a digital ‘anything’).”

In this context, the reader of A Universe Explodes subjects must adhere to two rules:

The first rule is that for the reader to own the book, they “must erase two words on each page and add one word”. The addition can be smart, stupid, rude or the same word recently erased. In this way the books are initially identical but quickly become unique — each having a lineage of owners, dedications, and words added and removed.
The second rule says that when an owner finishes they must give their book away and dedicate it to a new owner. This is our equivalent of pressing ‘submit’, creating a bespoke mark for each “copy” and allows the owner to document their ownership to the Cultureblock, which works a lot like a ledger, or even an old school library card.

Now while I find the artistic aspect of deleting two words and adding one to be quite interesting and in league with my previous assertation of having a “only-with-ebooks” reading experience, the use of what they call “Cultureblock” that resonates with me even more.

As explained in the article, “Cultureblock” is essentially the use of blockchain to determine ownership and history of the copy of an ebook. Instead of selling access to an ebook (which is the current state of digital bookselling), the theory is that blockchain can allow people to actually own and ebook, allowing them to share it, sell it, burn it — basically do the things you typically can do with a print copy. Or any other physical item, for that matter.

Considering that blockchain is built around the idea of maintaining a complete, permanent and public record of ownership, it makes me wonder how this aspect can be applied on a larger scale. Could this system be used/replicated in a more mainstream (commercial?) sense, possibly repealing the use of DRM? I’m of the opinion that DRM-related hoops consumers need to jump through act as a barrier to entry in many cases, particularly in regards to reading ebooks. It seems plausible that such a process has the potential to provide a better user experience while fostering device agnosticism. I assume publishers could likely gain access to new customer data models. Could even open up new business models for them.

DRM is required by libraries to replicate the lending process in the digital environment. How simple could it be to have an actual digital library card which could manage automatic returns and renewals without checks and balances from outside servers and authentication systems?

I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface with these thoughts here. This experiment is way too fascinating and deserves to be expanded on.

[Reposted from mikelacroix.me]

Rethinking Ebook Ownership

From www.youtube.com/user/VisualEditions

One of the most common reasons I hear as to why people don’t like reading ebooks is because they like to hold and feel a print book in their hands. In short, the personal attachment readers have with a proper physical book cannot be replicated with an ebook.

I can’t say I disagree with that statement. I too love the experience of a paper book. The weight of the book, the texture of the paper, the sound of pages rustling, the smell… they’re all undeniable parts of the reading experience as much as the words are.

This meta experience is definitely lacking for ebooks. As long as ebooks are regarded as nothing more than the transfer of a print book to an e-reading format, they will continue to exist as a disservice to their native digital nature. Ebooks need to have their ebook-only experience, one that defines it and makes it unique, irreplaceable even, just as the experience of the print book provides. Coming across an article like A Universe Explodes: A Blockchain Book, from Editions At Play does nothing to dissuade me from this opinion.

The article sums up an experiment ran by Editions At Play which challenges the idea of ownership and uniqueness of an ebook.

With a short 20-page novella entitled A Universe Explodes, Editions At Play straight up wonder that if “[b]ooks grow in value (both emotional or financial) as they age” than “can be true of a digital book (or a digital ‘anything’).”

In this context, the reader of A Universe Explodes subjects must adhere to two rules:

The first rule is that for the reader to own the book, they “must erase two words on each page and add one word”. The addition can be smart, stupid, rude or the same word recently erased. In this way the books are initially identical but quickly become unique — each having a lineage of owners, dedications, and words added and removed.
The second rule says that when an owner finishes they must give their book away and dedicate it to a new owner. This is our equivalent of pressing ‘submit’, creating a bespoke mark for each “copy” and allows the owner to document their ownership to the Cultureblock, which works a lot like a ledger, or even an old school library card.

Now while I find the artistic aspect of deleting two words and adding one to be quite interesting and in league with my previous assertation of having a “only-with-ebooks” reading experience, the use of what they call “Cultureblock” that resonates with me even more.

As explained in the article, “Cultureblock” is essentially the use of blockchain to determine ownership and history of the copy of an ebook. Instead of selling access to an ebook (which is the current state of digital bookselling), the theory is that blockchain can allow people to actually own and ebook, allowing them to share it, sell it, burn it — basically do the things you typically can do with a print copy. Or any other physical item, for that matter.

Considering that blockchain is built around the idea of maintaining a complete, permanent and public record of ownership, it makes me wonder how this aspect can be applied on a larger scale. Could this system be used/replicated in a more mainstream (commercial?) sense, possibly repealing the use of DRM? I’m of the opinion that DRM-related hoops consumers need to jump through act as a barrier to entry in many cases, particularly in regards to reading ebooks. It seems plausible that such a process has the potential to provide a better user experience while fostering device agnosticism. I assume publishers could likely gain access to new customer data models. Could even open up new business models for them.

DRM is required by libraries to replicate the lending process in the digital environment. How simple could it be to have an actual digital library card which could manage automatic returns and renewals without checks and balances from outside servers and authentication systems?

I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface with these thoughts here. This experiment is way too fascinating and deserves to be expanded on.

[Reposted from mikelacroix.me]