SponsorWill Tracz
AdvisorMichael Lutz
  • Rusty Burchfield
  • Bryan Green
  • Peter Kaemmerlen
  • Brian Schroth
  • Jason Pallady


ACM SIGSOFT publishes a bi-monthly hybrid Newsletter (i.e., print and digital), SEN (Software Engineering Notes). The Newsletter is manually assembled by the editor from various contributions, established column editors, and other contributors who submit documents in various forms and formats. The print copy is a single PDF file. The digital copy is rendered from the single PDF file and enhanced with additional PDF files, after the necessary metadata is manually extracted. In addition, a table of contents is manually created for each issue.


The goal of this process is to create a web-based content management system that semi-automates the composition of the SIGSOFT Newsletter (both print and digital format). The desired capabilities include:

  1. Submission/Status - Develop a form to upload submissions to SEN by potential contributors and allow them to review their status (and notify the editor, automatically send an acknowledgement email, etc.)
  2. Metadata Extraction/Collection - Initially request manual entry of metadata (e.g., Title/Author/Affiliation) but eventually automatically extract metadata from submission
  3. Workflow - A mechanism to trigger events associated with the time and status of documents (e.g., send out reminders to column editors if they have not uploaded a submission by a certain date). Initially workflows will be canned, but later may be parameterized
  4. DL Content Insertion Preparation - Create XML records necessary for entering Newsletter content into the ACM DL
  5. Content Processing - Generate PDF from various source formats
  6. Newsletter Composition - Combine contributions into single newsletter based on specific guidelines and add appropriate headers.
  7. Newsletter Distribution - Prepare a release package of all components to send to printer for publication
  8. Newsletter Content Allocation - Allow placement of content based on size, priority (e.g., move content order or move content to future issue)

The overall goal is to automate as much of the manual process that is currently associated with the creation of the newsletter, and to eliminate the submission of contributions as email attachments.