Development: Imprint Online – Web Publishing System

Imprint Publishing

What do you get when you marry the Adobe Scripting Engine with the magic of XML Parsing? Well, one thing you can come out with is a web publishing system that automates the process of publishing the online version of a weekly newspaper.

This is exactly what I did for Imprint. Online publishing for Imprint was always seen as a chore and took forever to do. I searched for a solution, but could not find anything substantial. So it was time to hack something together.

Using the powerful Adobe Scripting Engine and some cleverly crafted JavaScript, I was able to turn an (almost) semantically dead laid out newspaper page (in Adobe InDesign) into a meaningful XML file. (I have to note that some user input was involved; the Web Editor had to appropriately label related Text Boxes within InDesign to associate story elements together). This XML file could then be pumped into a custom administration component for the Mambo CMS, that would parse through the XML and create the appropriate database entries and automagically publish the newspaper online (I should also note here, that some user input was involved; Users were walked through the list of articles extracted from the XML file and had to indicate the Section and Category each belonged to). Goodbye copy-pasting!

Clever, no?

Tools used: JavaScript, Adobe Scripting Engine, Adobe InDesign, XML, PHP, MySQL, DOMIT XML Parser, Mambo, and hours of rigorous testing


2 thoughts on “Development: Imprint Online – Web Publishing System

  1. This is great. Do you have any experience with College Publisher 5? It would be great to port some of this over to the vaguely useful XML-output they accept…

    • No, I’ve never worked with College Publisher before. Though, if they have options for XML-import then I’m sure it’s easy enough to make the script work for it. I’ll send you an email to discuss further.

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