The Coko Development Method

Coko develops with the community, for the community. We value iterative feedback and work to ensure technologies we build are both useful and needed by users. Our basic workflow for publishing technology development is below.

  • 1

    Workflow sprint

    Your staff are the experts on your workflow and how it can be improved. Rapidly reinvent your workflow before investing in a new technology and increase your efficiency.

  • 2

    Facilitated product design

    Collaborate with our team to design your own solution. We assemble our technologies to meet your needs and work with you to design the perfect interfaces in a series of design, build and test cycles.

  • 3

    Tweaks and bugs

    Software is developed iteratively with feedback loop between developers and use case experts.

  • 4


    Software stabilized for launch.

How We Work

We work with our partners in several different ways depending on their needs and resources.

  • dev-method-sprint-500x250
    Workflow Sprint

    We can facilitate the design of your new platform with optimised workflow in a 2-day workflow sprint with publishing staff (this process normally takes 6-9 months). The result of the sprint is a set of wireframes illustrating your workflow.

  • dev-method-two-500x250
    Facilitated product design

    Open source isn’t just about code. It’s about working with people to solve specific problems. We can work with your organization to conceptualize solutions, regardless of the technologies you ultimately employ.

  • dev-method-square-500x500
    Custom development

    We can build it for you. Coko can develop complete technology solutions to solve specific publishing technology challenges, adapting our prior work to meet your use case. This is how Editoria was developed, and how we are working with Wormbase.

  • dev-method-square-double-lines-500x500
    Co-created solutions

    Let’s build together. We’re working directly with publisher technology teams at organizations like eLife and Hindawi to co-develop shared technology solutions.

Working with the community

Coko is mobilizing the power of community to build open source infrastructure. User experience designers, developers, platform service providers and publishers are coming together with Coko to develop solutions to the thorniest of publishing problems — from seamless web-based, end-to-end, authoring, editing and workflow systems to tools that manage critical file conversion tasks. By bringing together a robust and diverse ecosystem of tool-builders and platform experts, we ensure needed depth and breadth. By making the suite of technologies open and interoperable, we are building for a flexible future that will transform research communications.

Coko puts community first in our development process. We work closely with our partners to leverage expertise, share problems, and collaborate on solutions. Imagine not having to solve all the problems of building a publishing system by yourself—that is what we are doing with our community.

We work on a common infrastructure that we believe will radically change how research is published. The result of all this is that we can keep the overhead low and produce better products than if any one of us were working alone. We can also produce them faster, learning from each other as we go.

Communication is key for open source development

In order to benefit from collaboration in an open source project, you have to be communicative. We have several mechanisms to help with this:

  • Our community is active on the Mattermost chat client (login required but easy to get!). Check out the “Town Square” to read about the latest Coko developments.
  • We use GitLab to collaboratively develop in the open. Conversations, commits, issues, and roadmaps can be found there for each of our projects.
  • We actively post on our blog and co-founder Adam Hyde also posts about Coko-related topics on his personal blog

What our partners have to say about
working with Coko

“We’ve tried to build software for other people before, but it wasn’t until we worked with the Coko Foundation that we realised how important a ‘community-first’ approach is. The benefits from the conversations, before any code is even written, is obvious when you start writing and even more obvious when you see the quality of the finished product.

“I love the pleasant surprise when one of your collaborators solves a problem for you, or when you find a problem you thought was just unique to you being discussed elsewhere. For us, the main benefit is knowing that what we’re building is useful to others and is solving the important problems – things get built more quickly and more correctly which reduces the burden on everyone.”

– Paul Shannon, Head of Technology, eLife

“[Coko] have marshalled a diverse group of publishers towards a shared goal. Together, we’ve implemented a radically open process of constructive collaboration, where each member benefits from the strengths of the others. The result has been rapid progress towards an elegant, maintainable product.

“An improvement for one becomes an improvement for all. Individual communities can focus on core areas of expertise — peer review, hosting, discovery — knowing that their innovations will improve the entire system. The result is more creativity, a more diverse set of solutions, and, ultimately, faster progress.”

Andrew Smeall, Head of Strategic Products, Hindawi