Designing Web-Based Applications for 21st Century Writing Classrooms brings together, for the first time, a group of scholars and teachers who have been developing, on their own initiative, web-based solutions to technical and professional writing instructional problems. In industry the perennial question is whether to buy or build, but in academia, for various reasons, buy is rarely an option. Individual faculty members do not have the money to pay for software solutions, and often their interests are too local or small-scale to warrant institutional-level involvement. In addition, the design of commercial applications from vendors typically does not take into account the unique needs and considerations of teachers of writing and often reflects a design ideology quite different from theirs. This is why so many writing teachers have turned to open source solutions and, in the process of learning how to tweak them to make them more responsive to their specific needs, why so many of these teachers have developed programming and design skills. Beyond exigency, the motivation for becoming proficient at interface and database design comes from the observation that the nature of writing is changing dramatically. Text is no longer an object. It has become a place of interaction; consumers are becoming producers. And the work of technical and professional communication, indeed the work of writing teachers more generally, is becoming increasingly involved in the design and implementation of places of interaction. Words have become data; texts are becoming communities.