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Open-source ePub with Bookworm


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A brief demo of the Bookworm ePub reader and its support for publishers and developers.

A brief demo of the Bookworm ePub reader and its support for publishers and developers.

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  • 1. Open source ePub Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Good afternoon. My name is Liza Daly, Iʼm a software engineer and the owner of Threepress Consulting. Iʼm going to talk about the Bookworm ePub reading application and its support for publishers and developers.
  • 2. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 In case youʼve never used it, Bookworm is a web-based ePub reader. Users can upload books in ePub format and then read them online, transfer them to Stanza on the iPhone, and search and organize their library.
  • 3. Bookworm Allows users to add ePub books to a library in the “cloud” Supports full XHTML/CSS Indexes full text and book metadata Launched June 2008, part of O’Reilly Labs since February 2009 Wednesday, May 13, 2009 The workflow is very simple: you add books via a web form, and then they appear in this library listing shown here. You can click on a book to read it, sort or search your library. Because the books are rendered in your browser you get full support for all XHTML and CSS features. Itʼs not a book-sharing site; all books you upload are private.
  • 4. Readers Wednesday, May 13, 2009 I think of Bookworm as serving three audiences. The first is obviously the reader, or user of the site. Our users have uploaded more than 13,000 books.
  • 5. Readers Wednesday, May 13, 2009 There are lots of features to support a good online reading experience: one is a choice of different user interfaces. On the left is the default or “TOC” mode, where the bookʼs structure is revealed. The second is Reading Mode, which provides a very clean, text-centric interface, and on the right is the UI thatʼs optimized for reading on a mobile browser.
  • 6. Publishers Wednesday, May 13, 2009 You can check out the reading features of Bookworm yourself; instead I want to focus on the other two audiences. The first is publishers. If you upload a book to Bookworm that has some kind of formatting problem, Bookworm provides a lot of diagnostics.
  • 7. “The file you “Did not get a docTitle from the uploaded was not NCX, although this is required.” recognized as an ePub archive.” “We detected a problem with your ebook that is most likely related to it being too big to display safely in a web browser.” “It appears that you’ve uploaded a book that contains DRM (Digital Rights Management).” Wednesday, May 13, 2009 There are a dozen or more plain-English messages to help publishers understand what is wrong with a particular damaged ebook.
  • 8. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 One of the tools that Bookworm leverages to do this is the EpubCheck application by Adobe. If you are producing ePubs and not running them through EpubCheck, well, start doing that.
  • 9. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Bookworm talks to EpubCheck via this simple web interface I created. This validator is just a wrapper around EpubCheck for people who donʼt know how to install a standalone Java program.
  • 10. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 In addition to ePub validation services, there is a lot of content on Bookworm thatʼs meant to help publishers work with ePub. This text is from Bookworm; itʼs a list of questions you should be asking when reviewing an ePub.
  • 11. Developers Wednesday, May 13, 2009 The last audience is developers. The most obvious way Bookworm serves developers is by being open source. It uses the BSD license, which is a so-called permissive license, meaning it withholds very few rights. You can use Bookworm code in your own application, even if itʼs commercial, without asking my permission.
  • 12. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 One of the most valuable pieces in Bookworm has turned out to be the test suite. Bookworm includes more than 100 automated tests which use 50 sample documents. These are sample ePubs or parts of ePubs that exhibit various characteristics. Almost all of these are based on real books that people tried to upload to Bookworm.
  • 13. People love to help with open source Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Iʼm going to give one quick use case here about the real economic value provided by open source.
  • 14. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 This is a visualization of changes to the Bookworm source code over time. You can see in the upper right that some of these relate to other languages.
  • 15. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 First to launch was German
  • 16. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Followed by Danish
  • 17. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Finnish
  • 18. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 And weʼre almost done with Spanish, French and Italian.
  • 19. German Danish Finnish Spanish Italian French Russian Chinese Japanese Wednesday, May 13, 2009 These translations arenʼt a trivial task: there are 620 translatable phrases or sentences in Bookworm. Many of these were done by employees of publishers in these countries who were excited about ePub and wanted to use a native-language Bookworm to get buy-in from their organizations to support the format.
  • 20. $=0 Wednesday, May 13, 2009 So soon Iʼll have nine translations into major languages with a total cost to me of zero, and a much higher level of engagement in ePub around the world.
  • 21. Other open-source ePub EpubCheck DocBook XSL TEI to ePub EPUBGen AZARDI Calibre Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Of course Bookworm isnʼt the only open source ePub package: thereʼs many more and Iʼve listed some of the major ones here. Thereʼs an even more comprehensive list on OʼReilly Labs.
  • 22. Liza Daly Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Thanks.