ERCIM News No.34 - July 1998

EP98 - the Seventh Conference on Electronic Publishing

by Jacques André

INRIA recently organized (and ERCIM sponsored) EP98, the seventh Electronic Publishing conference, in Saint-Malo, in the framework of a week consecrated to digital documents and typography. This conference was held from 1-4 April at Saint-Malo, France.

About three hundred people participated in the events, more than a half having registrated to EP98 and its tutorials. Attendants came from America, Far East and Europe (with a very great number of people from Finland) and 'even' from France (very few people actually!).

For twelve years, the series of EP meetings has been a hot spot for technological watch. Indeed, it is at these meetings that such concepts as active documents, document restructuring and so on, first appeared.

This year's conclusion is that research in this area is far from being complete, even though the Web only seems to be concerned with the development of commercial products these days. Some thought that the OpenType or MM and Unicode fonts marked a pause. On the contrary, research is revealing very novel openings in object-oriented or constrained character modelling ­ including non Latin characters, legibility on screens, etc. Others opinions were that paper is out. On the contrary, the concept of intelligent paper, that bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds, puts it back in the spotlight. Among the best lectures was the invited talk from Grenoble-Xerox research center. Some thought that we knew how to manage multimedia. On the contrary, Allen's logic opens up brand new and exciting possibilities in terms of temporal management. In short, we are witnessing a transition from a narrow and specialized technical subject to a wide area of research, a new discipline.

Proceedings are available as:

The cover has been designed at EPFL, Switzerland by using very new imaging technologies and can be found at:

EP 2000 ?

This series is far from dying! Its main problem is to find its own approach, to be independent of the Web fashion and far of the printing technology. In that way, the EP steering committee is looking for an unambiguous new acronym (EP seems to be too much printing oriented although EP means Electronic Publishing whose meaning is broader than Editing!). Anyway, EP2000 should be organized in the United States. Have a look at

Please contact:

Jacques André - INRIA-Rennes
Tel: +33 2 9984 7350

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