Sophie's raison d'etre is to enable people to create robust, elegant rich-media, networked documents without recourse to programming. We have word processors, video, audio and photo editors but no viable options for assembling the parts into a complex whole except tools like Flash which are expensive, hard to use, and often create documents with closed proprietary file formats. Sophie promises to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of creative people.
Originally conceived as a standalone multimedia authoring tool, Sophie is now integrated into the Web 2.0 network in some very powerful ways:
- Sophie documents can be uploaded to a server and then streamed over the net
- It's possible to embed remote audio, video and graphic text files in the pages of Sophie documents meaning that the actual document that needs to be distributed might be only a few hundred kilobytes even if the book itself is comprised of hundreds of megabytes or even a few gigabytes.
- Sophie now has the ability to browse OKI (open knowledge initiative) repositories from within Sophie itself and then to embed objects from those repositories.
- We now have live dynamic text fields (similar to the Institute's CommentPress experiments on the web) such that a comment written in the margin is displayed immediately in every other copy of that book - anywhere in the world.