At the core of JISCPress is WordPress Multi User and CommentPress. CommentPress is now called digress.it. You can read about, test and download the latest version of digress.it from the WordPress plugin repository.
It should be pointed out that while the JISCPress project is brand spanking new, the CommentPress/digress.it project is officially two years old and the product of much research, development and testing of document publishing and annotation in a networked environment. I have blogged/raved about CommentPress before, and I encourage urge you to read about the background of CommentPress/digress.it over on the Institute for the Future of the Book’s original CommentPress site.
You’ll see how digress.it has evolved from the original GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1 (Gamer Theory) book site, to Mitchell Stephen’s paper, The Holy of Holies: On the Constituents of Emptiness, which was inspired by Jack Slocum’s WordPress system built for the drafts of version 3 of the GNU General Public License. The next iteration of digress.it was the Iraq Study Group Report and The President’s Address to the Nation, January 10th, 2007. These were followed by HASTAC’s draft paper on The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age and finally by Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s paper, Scholarly Publishing in the Age of the Internet (no longer available).
digress.it is a significant rewrite and development of CommentPress and I’m really pleased that the JISCPress project is not only using it as a core technology but also contributing quite heavily to its further development. CommentPress is already popular in Higher Education for the critique of texts by students, the open peer-review of manuscripts, the peer-review of published books and to solicit comment on Institutions’ policy documents. It has also been used by the UK Government looking for feedback on their Innovation Nation strategy. So just as JISCPress benefits from more than two years of open source development of CommentPress, we hope that apart from the JISCPress platform itself, Educators and the public sector will benefit from the improvements we make to digress.it. We know that difficulty meeting WCAG accessibility guidelines has meant that CommentPress couldn’t be more widely used in the Public Sector and this is one of the first tasks that we’ll be addressing in the JISCPress project.
If you want to have a say about the development of digress.it for JISCPress (remember, all code is open source and can be used for any other WordPress-based project), then post your thoughts to our UserVoice site. We’re always open to suggestions.