Fidus Writer receives EU Funding through NLnet

Fidus Writer, the open-source real-time collaborative web-based online editor for academia, has secured funding from the NGI0 Entrust Trustworthiness and Data Sovereignty initiative. This funding, provided by NLnet with support from the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet program, aims to enhance Fidus Writer’s capabilities and broaden its reach within the academic community.

Project Overview

Fidus Writer has been in development since 2012, achieving stability around 2014/5. Renowned research universities such as the Technische Universität München, Kiel University, and Bern University have adopted Fidus Writer, contributing to feature development and setup assistance. The editor currently supports exporting individual documents to various standard formats, including DOCX, ODT, LaTeX, Epub, HTML, and JATS XML.

However, there’s a critical gap: document collections (books) can only be exported into Epub, HTML, or LaTeX. Additionally, the absence of import filters—basic import is currently done through copy-and-paste—limits Fidus Writer’s accessibility.

Project Goals

The funding received will empower Fidus Writer to address these limitations and enhance its functionality:

  1. Export Filters for Books: Fidus Writer will gain export filters for DOCXODT, and JATS XML formats, enabling seamless export of entire document collections.
  2. Generic Pandoc Export Filter: A versatile pandoc export filter will allow users to export documents to lesser-used formats, expanding compatibility.
  3. Generic Pandoc Import Filter: Fidus Writer will introduce a generic pandoc import filter, facilitating the import of diverse document formats into the platform.
  4. Tracked Changes Export: Users will have the capability to export tracked changes in DOCX and ODT formats when exporting documents.

Additionally, NLnet will perform accessibility and security audits of Fidus Writer and the suggestions will be worked on for the next Fidus Writer release.

Impact and Future Prospects

By bridging import and export gaps, Fidus Writer aims to reach a broader audience, making collaborative academic writing more accessible. Researchers, scholars, and students will benefit from improved import/export options, ensuring seamless collaboration and data sovereignty.

The progress of this work will be trackable via our Github repository, and it is expected that a release by the end of 2024 will incorporate several of the improvements. See the project page at NLnet here:

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