This is a private blog by Jens Lechtenbörger.

Jens Lechtenbörger

OpenPGP key: 0xA142FD84
(What is OpenPGP? Learn how to protect your e-mail.)

Creative Commons License
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, my posts on this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

OER figures with license meta-data in emacs-reveal

Do you teach or educate? Do you use somebody else’s educational resources or share your own creations?

As described last year, I created an infrastructure called emacs-reveal to produce HTML presentations as Open Educational Resources (OER) from Org Mode text files in GNU Emacs for my own teaching. If you believe in the values of free software, I’m sure that you will find the values of OER appealing as well (despite the choice of “open” as main characteristic), whose licenses are supposed to permit 5 Rs, namely Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute.

While working on my own presentations, I found myself repeatedly copying figures along with proper licensing information between presentations, which clearly indicated that my workflow was less than ideal. Indeed, most image formats do not provide any means for the inclusion of licensing information, so such annotations must be copied separately from the image file itself. To get rid of time-consuming and error-prone copying, I decided to create one separate meta-data file with license information for each image. For those meta-data files I use an ad-hoc format based on accepted terminologies (Dublin Core and Creative Commons).

In my presentations, I can now simply include the meta-data file, and proper licensing and attribution information will be displayed automatically. Moreover, licensing and attribution information is embedded as RDFa in generated HTML presentations, making it accessible on the Semantic Web. (For example, the Firefox plugin OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer can parse and display such RDFa data.)

My figures are published in this GitLab repository, and my howto for emacs-reveal (source code) includes some figure examples. As an aside, if you are interested in OER or free software or both, I’d be happy to receive feedback on what I plan to present as motivation for a course on operating systems (source code) starting in June.