Antica Tipografia dal 1876 s.r.l, Rome, Italy.

Customer & Industry
Antica Tipografia dal 1876 s.r.l, are the print, PDF and XML solution providers to the Italian Senate. Since 1876 they have been providing typographical composition and printing services to the Italian Senate and other customers. Since 1997 they have been using a custom implementation based on 3B2 version 5 and 6 for its strong typographical capabilities and WYSIWYG view, replacing the legacy Hyphen System Book paginator. Since then many customisations have been implemented to support the specific nature of the Senate bills requirements which has given a stable and strong solution for many years.


New Requirement
In 2009 the Senate announced their intention to move to providing online access to their documentation. And with this move, as well as Print, PDF, and TaggedPDF, a new custom Schema XML deliverable was also required.
Antica Tipografia therefore needed to look at how they would provide the XML deliverable, PDF and print formats based on this new data structure, while maintaining all of the specialist document layout features and workflow requirements.
Antica started looking at new technologies to give them the tools needed to continue serving the Senate requirements. After looking for 3B2 and XML specialists, they started discussions with us, together with our project partners, at our first APP World users meeting in 2010.

Starting to conceive the project scope and requirement without any formal specifications or even completed data-set/Schema from the Senate, presented many technical, design and engagement challenges. We started to working closely with the Antica project development manager and legacy typesetting operators, on-site and remotely on a flexible time and modular basis.
From this grew a scope of work and functional specification and workflow started to take shape. This enabled outline planning and details of components to be specified and then created. Yet, allowances had to be made for components to be enhanced and new requirements to be handled, enabling the solution and its components to evolve.
The highly customised nature of many of the workflow components lent itself very well to an Arbortext solution based around the XML Editor environment and existing APP (3B2) licenses upgraded, to create a semi automated workflow as required.

The project included common elements, i.e. the relatively easy parts!

  • XML Editing Stylesheets, optimised for editing and customised to the semantic Schema tagging.
  • APP (3B2) Template for Manual and Automated composition

Here are just some of some major custom features implemented for the solution, including:

  • Creation & Editing:
    • Tagging templates, menus and helpers to assist typesetters/authors with fast creation and editing revisions of content. Smoothing the path of change for many traditional typesetters who had worked with 3B2 for many years and had been used to live unstructured data editing.
    • Automated legacy 3B2 unstructured file conversion into the new XML data format.
    • An import conversion functionality option for un-styled and randomly formatted MS Word documents from various departments and Senators.
    • Automated APP screen ‘preview’ function. From a menu item in Editor, flowing the XML content into the automated 3B2 template creating a ‘print preview’.
    • Real time synchronisation between Arbortext XML Editor and Arbortext APP Composition page WYSIWYG. (Youtube video demo)
    • Flowing the XML data into 3B2 and augmenting the XML with line break and page break indicators to reload into Editor giving the authors a accurate printed page column/page concept to the editing view.
    • Inhouse Schema enhancements to enable smooth editing and typesetting workflows
  • Formatting and outputs:
    • Manual and Automated composition options.
    • Single/double column and Side-by-side view VJ’ed layouts.
    • Dynamic calculation of optimum column numbers based on formatted text depth. Manual spacing overrides and value preservation between revisions.
    • TaggedPDF and standards PDF compliance output
    • One of the first customers to choose to base their APP templates on a purely JavaScript FOM coding model, a fast and steep learning curve!
    • XSLT polishing of in-house Schema to final Senate deliverable.

Outcome & Benefits

After extensive and close working relationship to conceive, plan and construct the solution along with Anticas own technical resources. The Antica Single source XML workflow solution went live in 2012 and has grown and evolved since then with the Arbortext Editor and APP Engine at it heart.

Antica is very proud to have effort with this new experience; we’ve found that partners like tformat & Publimate have been fundamental to address this project, which bring us in a new level of professional production.
Sometimes, changes that can frighten, or that seem impossible to obtain, are much easier than we think. We’ve learned that nothing is impossible, even when traditional workers are used to work in the traditional way.
This change has prompted the company to a new present and hopefully this will open up new horizons in production.

Massimo Minissale, IT Manager, Antica Tipografia.