Web development is hardly something most publishers consider their stock in trade. But a widespread lack of basic understanding about Internet technologies threatens to generate inefficiencies and slow innovation.
“Since so much of the publishing ecosystem is becoming more and more web-based every day,” Bibliocloud founder and CEO Emma Barnes says, “it helps even those who aren’t strictly on the tech side to understand the fundamentals about how Rails works.”
Ruby on Rails (or “Rails” for short) is a well-established, open-source development framework in which a host of web products are built, and in Barnes’s view, its chief benefit is that it “makes writing complicated websites less complicated.”
Giving an overview of the fundamentals, Barnes explains how publishers can benefit from a firmer grasp of what Rails can do.
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Wal-Mart to Take on Amazon Prime (TheStreet)
Wal-Mart is planning to roll out a subscription-based delivery service similar to Amazon’s popular Prime program. While it won’t launch with many of Prime’s other features, like video streaming, the Wal-Mart service will be almost $40 cheaper. The question now is whether Wal-Mart has what it takes to seriously compete.
Amazon Takes the Cloud to the Classroom (DBW)
Amazon Web Services launches an education program called AWS Educate, offering instructors a slate of resources to train students in cloud computing technologies.
Macmillan Imprint Toys with the Idea of Imprints (PW)
A new imprint at Macmillan is called “Imprint,” a name chosen by publisher Erin Stein as a way of nodding playfully at the reality that “outside the publishing world nobody knows that ‘imprint’ has a special connotation inside publishing.” Imprint will focus on branded content, young adult fiction and children’s titles, among other projects.
E-Reader Device Owners Still Steadily Upgrading (Good E Reader)
A recent survey by Good E Reader finds that most owners of e-reader devices bought a new model sometime within the past two years. Considering e-readers aren’t exactly a high-growth category, that replacement cycle could frankly be worse, hinting there’s still life in this hardware market for a certain kind of reader. Unsurprisingly, Kobo and Kindle devices were found to be the most popular.
Related: Kobo Aims for Print Devotees with Latest Premium E-Reader
Author Solutions Readies for Court (The Bookseller)
The controversial publishing services company takes steps to defend itself against a series of lawsuits, some of which have filed for class-action certification. Here’s an updated summary of the byzantine litigation.
IDW Develops New Mobile Comics App (Good E Reader)
The comics publisher partners with the digital comics app developer Madefire to launch iOS and Android apps for some of its content. The two companies have worked together previously on a line of “motion comics” based on IDW titles.
Wattpad Rolls out Apple Watch App (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The storytelling platform launches an app for Apple’s smartwatch that syncs with its iPhone app in order to let Wattpad authors keep tabs on the metrics for how readers are engaging with their content.
Worldreader Launches Browser-Based Ebook App (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The global literacy nonprofit partners with Opera to create a stripped-down browser-based e-reading app letting mobile users with limited Internet connectivity access Worldreader’s catalog of some 15,500 titles.
Related: UNESCO Sees Mobile’s Potential to Boost Literacy
Write to the Beat of Your Own Drum (Teleread)
A clever new web tool called Typedrummer converts text into percussive patterns, supposedly helping users to hear a line’s unique rhythms. High school English teachers beware, though: type in a line of Shakespeare, and iambic pentameter isn’t quite the first thing you hear.