Design for Literature

Last updated 7 April 2014

What is Design For Literature?

To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it “the way it really was” (Ranke).
It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger.
— Walter Benjamin

The era of the intelligent eWork is arriving. We are creating an innovative open-source, collaborative platform (a reference implementation) for creating, editing/annotating, and publishing eWorks. We want to provide the educational community (K12-University and unaffiliated individuals) an unsurpassed learning experience with state-of-the-art technology. Our initial focus is on literary works: submitting them, annotating them in both static and dynamic ways, and browsing them in a deep way. We use state-of-the-art technology in AI and UIX to create a deep and pleasurable learning and publishing/editing experience.

We are inventing a new world outside of the Corporate Complex, so we welcome brilliant volunteers to work part-time or full-time on technology (web services, web clients, AI/ML modeling and algorithms, analytics, search, and infrastructure) and content (philologists, journalists, literary critics).

Our success will be measured by the speed, depth, ease, and pleasure of learning and publishing works as compared with, e.g., Wikipedia

Latest News

04/07/2014: First demo completed. Demo builds will be updated every two weeks.
04/03/2014: We have adopted the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
03/16/2014: We'll have our first demo version on April 7, 2014. We've decided to not implement an Open Document Format converter. Rather, we'll focus our presentation level efforts on HTML5/CSS/JS and continue to build our presentation infrastructure from scratch.
02/25/2014: Progress Report: the reference implementation currently supports catalog metadata entry, content submission, and search. We are now working on annotation and browsing.
02/07/2014: Considering URN/CITE citation method for catalog entries. We are concerned that URNs are insufficiently flexible, so we'll adopt them as alternate catalog identifiers so that we can work in complement with sites that use it. .
02/01/2014: Work started on the HIRA Reference implementation.
12/29/2013: We are considering implementing an Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) converter in our HIRA Reference Implementation starting with the first release. ODF documents can be read by Word and many other applications. This converter will help accelerate the adoption of HIRA. We could also adopt ODF element names in homologous structures (e.g., paragraphs) in our DB representation: a problem with this is that, unlike OOXML, the ODF tag names can be long and therefore not efficient in both storage space and performance.
12/06/2013: Current work in progress on HIRA (Http Information Representation API) document draft and on API Reference Implementation. This will be open for review and comment in the early Spring of 2014.
11/02/2013: Platform decisions for DFL's reference implementation. We'll use node.js/express for web-facing RESTful services and pure HTML5/Javascript/Angularjs APIs for the clients. Scala/Java-based RESTful services will be used for search (e.g., SOLR/Lucene) and analytics.
09/03/2013: Met with Tufts Perseid project to discuss future collaborations. Perseid specs may be available in the Spring of 2014.
Technical Challenges and Manifesto
Horace: Design for Literature's Reference Implementation

Collaborators and Contributors

Volunteer Contributor Program: Volunteers with sufficient skills in at least one key area will work with us remotely and communicate via Zoom or Skype. We will mentor you on other skills that you might need to do your job. We are looking for contributors with the following skills:

Institutional Collaborators: We are taking the initiative to seek collaborations with groups and organizations during the Winter/Spring 2014 season. Inquiries are welcome. The best collaborators will be Classics Departments in universities and commercial ventures whose domain borders ours (e.g., text curaton and digital publishing).


Design for Literature
PO Box 620205
Woodside, CA 94062-0205
United States

Founder: Ruben Kleiman
(vide )


A Git repository for components and documentation has been set up at This is in an initial (pre-release) development stage: the first working version will be denoted as 0.1.0.

Noteworthy Standards and Models

  1. Resource Description Framework (RDF)
  2. RDF Syntax Specification
  3. FRBR (OCLC)
  4. CITE URN Citation Architecture
  5. Open Annotation Data Model
  6. XC: Extensible Catalog