Friday, May 27, 2011

French online news site Rue89 launches its own tablet edition, created using PadCMS digital publishing solutions

Important update below which adds some details from the developer.

Here is a bit of a more in-depth look at the new tablet edition released this week by the French online news site Rue89. The new iPad app, Rue89 avec les doigts, is a free app that gives you compete access to the content.
Rue89 was founded just four years ago by former editors of Libération, the newspaper founded in 1973 by Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge July. Currently the directeur de la rédaction (managing editor) of Rue89 is Pascal Riché, while Pierre Haski serves as directeur de la publication (publisher), both former Libération editors.

Opening the app one finds that PadCMS is credited with being the developer, while the app description lists Thomas Duc as the "seller" – whether they are one and the same is unknown. The PadCMS website is not much help as no names are mentioned, only a Paris address. But it appears that the company is related to Adyax, which is a company dedicated to open source technologies, and is listed as the "seller" of two other iPad tablet editions, du côté de chez vous and Air le Mag par McDonald's, which believe it or not is said to be "le mensuel culturel des restaurants McDonald’s" – the cultural magazine of McDonald's, really.
In any case, PadCMS's website states that "PadCMS is the first Open Source for digital magazine publishing on an iPad or Android tablets. Totally free, this solution allows any editor to publish magazines on tablets, despite any functional challenges they may present."

Further, the site claims that their digital publishing solution "allows the display of a simple PDF, sure, but it also allows the publication of new generation digital magazines, including, for example, Interactive Games, Videos, Sounds or any other media present in the Rich Magazines."

So what to expect from Rue89 avec les doigts? Will it be a simple replica edition?

Because of my low expectations I waited a day or so before opening up the app following downloading it. I was pleasantly surprised as the new tablet magazine looks more like what you would expect from efforts using Adobe or WoodWing publishing tools.

I can't comment on the editorial quality of the product, as it takes me a long time to struggle through French publications (I used to be better) but as an app this one has me incredibly curious about the publishing solutions offered from PadCMS (I have contacted them and hope to hear back at some point).

In the meantime, here is a very poorly produced video that shows the app in action. Since the app is a free download I would encourage readers to check it out, and I promise more information on PadCMS should they get back to me.

Update: Maxime Topolov, cofounder and CTO at Adjax responded to my inquiry concerning PadCMS. He explains their new system this way:
• On client side there are two libraries / example applications: one for
iOS (iPad) and other one for Android 2.2 & 2.3 (Galaxy tab, for example)
• On back end side, it's classical LAMP solution running on Zend Framework.
Topolov emphasizes that the big difference between the solution they have introduced and other digital publishing solutions is that PadCMS is free and open source.

"In our solution, there are pre-built interaction templates, and it's a
totally plugable and modular system, so many others could be created by the
community," Topolov told me.

I will be extremely interested to get input from those TNM readers who have been desperately looking for a new tablet publishing solution. This certainly sounds interesting.


Tablazines said...

Well I'm glad he got back to you because responses to all my inquiries were ZIL! Same as Aside Mag.

Tablazines said...

Yes PadCMS is free but if you check the support forums or my Twitter interactions with them.. there's almost NO SUPPORT for people who are having issues utilizing the system.

They will give you a support quote in the upwards of $1000 though.

The promise of publishing your magazines is HUGE but when you can't even get help for uploading your PDF.. opinions change really quick.

Wordpress didn't get where it is by ignoring it's users.