Welcome to my Blog! Hello, my name is MaryLouise and I am a Special Education Language Arts Teacher. I have utilized my lesson plans and other original teaching material to create picture books, workbooks, nonfiction and fiction articles and teacher's guides for educational resources.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Today's Topic: Utilizing Computer Science to Write or Self Publishing by a Multifaceted Writer

Today's interview is with Evan-Jan Williams, a Web and Server Developer, Newspaper Publisher, and Computer Systems Architect. Having worked for twenty years in a variety of software development roles, including web technology, he is uniquely positioned to comment on the efficiency of software creation and the efficacy of current computer coding techniques.
A lifelong Princeton resident, Evan-Jan received his Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Thomas Edison State College and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

MLAC: Please discuss your grand endeavor of starting your own newspaper.
EJW: The newspaper, New Holland Press “A Paper of Discussion” was started in 1989 and can be described as a paper of discussion. There are different writers for each issue. This area was first settled by the Dutch, therefore I felt there were consistent themes that permeated our society that were missing in the public dialog. The paper has a positive focus and covers real news as well as feature stories. I want to help emerging artists and at the same time I want to help Princeton have a public discourse that is above average. My interest in computers and mathematics were used to enhance and construct the newspaper. I had noticed that there were quite a few empty newspaper boxes on Nassau Street in Princeton, which meant to me that there was a need for a newspaper.

MLAC: What about the early beginnings of the newspaper?
EJW: I started out with one article called “Why the Need for New Holland Press”. It was all hand written at first and was photo copied on 8x11 inch paper. I distributed this paper throughout Princeton. I realized that a newspaper has to be typeset so I created my own content management system (CMS) based on PLONE which is a program that is a content system and is internet based.

MLAC: Why didn't you use a program that already existed?
EJW: Because I'm stubborn and a do it yourself person. I needed a system that allowed my writers to be in print and on-line at the same time. I had to create a system where the blocks that are on the page can also be seen online. To do this I used a mathematical structure called a Tree Lattice to allow the reader to be able to view the same content online as it appears in print on paper. Tree Lattices are a means of organizing seemingly unrelated content using one structure. If you think about it, it is pretty incredible to be able to have a computer system take all the different writers and different types of content and put them all on one page in an organized fashion. I rewrote the software for the newspaper in a new way, and in the process wrote a book explaining what it was all about.

MLAC: Please elaborate on your very interesting and helpful book,
Building Consistent Websites, A Mathematical Approach Using Trees.
EJW: I had a vision to create a simple program that would use a 4GL (4th Generation Language) to create a website. This type of program would allow the layman to easily create a website by writing in English and then the computer would compile a website.
My book takes a new approach to building websites. It shows how tree pictures, common in computer science and mathematics, can be used to help novices and professionals alike build web pages and other complex structures, like computer based drawings. The book differs from conventional computing books in that in addition to text, pictures and computer code, it contains mathematical concepts that are then applied. Not a computer textbook in the conventional sense, as the algorithms used aren't proven to complete in some way, or run in a certain amount of time. It is my hope that this monograph does show how to take a new idea; maybe utilizing some mathematical analysis as opposed to computing theory, to implement an idea in code. The key concept of the book is that one computation structure, a tree of course, can be used to represent all the pieces of a website to create a consistent whole. While work like this has been done in mathematics, and in some newer programming languages, I want to make the steps required to develop in this way more clear with some simple examples.

MLAC: What are your future plans:
EJW: I was happy with my first book but I have plans to rewrite it. Also, I want to keep the mathematics out of the second edition of the book Building Consistent Websites, A Mathematical Approach Using Trees, which should be more practically focused. I will be using a cutting edge computer language called 'Haxe', which I am very excited about. I want to put all of the Tree Lattice information in detail in a book called Applications of Tree Lattices. Perhaps I will try to use this theory in another computing application. I want to package up the software used in New Holland Press “A Paper of Discussion” so that other small newspapers (perhaps at schools) can benefit from it. And in addition to those two books, I have several other ideas for publication including printing another art book on Nature for New Holland Press “A Paper of Discussion”.

New Holland Press “A Paper of Discussion” : http://www.newhollandpress.com .
For the web store go to: https://www.newhollandpress.com
Evan's consulting website:http://www.evanwilliamsconsulting.com
To be notified when the second edition of Building Consistent Websites, A Mathematical Approach Using Trees is published: editor@newhollandpress.com