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an   API   for  books@hughmcguirepressbooks.com
To Do List:1. start thinking of books as [stuff].2. think about how we make books        3. look at examples  4. wonder: i...
What is a book?
My definition:“A book is a discrete collection of text (and     other media), that is designed by the    author(s) as an in...
What’s in a book?
joy!         pleasure!      knowledge!       characters!    fictional people!      real people!          places!        con...
THINGS!(and: things that we can name).
What is an API?
Terry Jones’s Definition:“Just as a User Interface gives humans  access to information, an API gives   programs access to i...
What is a (book) API’s job?
“To give other services the ability touse [the stuff] in your books, under       defined circumstances.”
An API is     another mechanismby which a publisher can do its        job, which is:       “to make public”    the content...
HOW:
Start with your    INDEX.
What is an index’s job?
Shakespeare’s Answer:“And in such indexes, although small pricks To their subsequent volumes, there is seen      The baby ...
What does a paper index look like?
What does an ebook index look like?
That there is a link!
<a href="/chapter3/index-entry-78">Dracula</a><a href="/chapter4/index-entry-101">May 1, 1893</a><a href="/chapter1/index-...
Jonathan Harker’s Journal:3 May. Bistritz.Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May,arriving at Vienna early next morning ...th...
Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1stMay, arriving at Vienna earlynext morning ... the post townnamed by Count Dracula, is afai...
Left <a id="index-entry-122">Munich</a>at 8:35 P.M., on <a id="index-entry-101">1st May</a>, arriving at <aid="index-entry...
What does a smart index look            like?
Left <a id="index-entry-122"class=”place”>Munich</a> at 8:35 P.M.,on <a id="index-entry-101"class=”date”>1st May</a>, arri...
<a href="/chapter3/index-entry-78" class=”person”>Dracula</a><a href="/chapter4/index-entry-101" class=”date”>May 1, 1893<...
HEY!THAT’S AN API!THAT WAS EASY!
What can we do with a book API?
We can build different interfacesthat allow readers to engage in         different ways.
The Pulp interface.
image: Gleann Ignacio
The Bits interface.
Image: Rebekah Ford
The“what stuff is mentioned in this              book”           interface:        Small Demons.
The“who is reading this and what are      they saying about it”            interface:           Readmill.
The“Let’s explode this book and put it back       together in a very cool way”                interface:          Dracula ...
IS THIS HARD?
Not if you use a good         book-basedcontent management system.        (like PressBooks!).
Conclusions:
1.Books are made of stuff that can be             named
2. If you name stuff in your HTML   (while indexing!), then we can(easily) build new uses/interfaces  for our books, such ...
3.        <shameless_plug>    If you use something like PressBooks to make your books,making Dracula Dissected becomes    ...
So ... What is a book?
My definition:“A book is a discrete collection of text (and    other media), that is designed by the   author(s) as an inte...
Talk to me about dissecting your            Dracula!    hugh@pressbooks.com       @hughmcguire    http://pressbooks.com
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
Book as API (Hugh McGuire)
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Book as API (Hugh McGuire)

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As books move to digital, we need to think beyond "words under glass" for ebooks. Alistair and I propose something more exiting: books connected to the network and accessed by APIs, allowing new interfaces & new thinking about what we should be able to do with books. This is the 2nd half of the Tools of Change workshop I did with Alistair Croll.

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  • Hugh- I saw you give this talk at Tools of Change, and it's very interesting. But I also find it curious that the "Dracula Dissected" novel as API, mentioned here at in another presentation at TOC, has already disappeared from the web-- 404 File not Found or Server not found. Of course, the book dracula can be found easily.
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Transcript of "Book as API (Hugh McGuire)"

  1. 1. an API for books@hughmcguirepressbooks.com
  2. 2. To Do List:1. start thinking of books as [stuff].2. think about how we make books 3. look at examples 4. wonder: is this easy or hard?
  3. 3. What is a book?
  4. 4. My definition:“A book is a discrete collection of text (and other media), that is designed by the author(s) as an internally complete representation of an idea, or set of ideas; emotion or set of emotions; and transmitted to readers in various formats.”
  5. 5. What’s in a book?
  6. 6. joy! pleasure! knowledge! characters! fictional people! real people! places! concepts! footnotes! references!lots and lots of other ...
  7. 7. THINGS!(and: things that we can name).
  8. 8. What is an API?
  9. 9. Terry Jones’s Definition:“Just as a User Interface gives humans access to information, an API gives programs access to information.”
  10. 10. What is a (book) API’s job?
  11. 11. “To give other services the ability touse [the stuff] in your books, under defined circumstances.”
  12. 12. An API is another mechanismby which a publisher can do its job, which is: “to make public” the contents of a book (under certain commercial arrangements)
  13. 13. HOW:
  14. 14. Start with your INDEX.
  15. 15. What is an index’s job?
  16. 16. Shakespeare’s Answer:“And in such indexes, although small pricks To their subsequent volumes, there is seen The baby figure of the giant mass Of things to come at large.” (Troilus and Cessida).
  17. 17. What does a paper index look like?
  18. 18. What does an ebook index look like?
  19. 19. That there is a link!
  20. 20. <a href="/chapter3/index-entry-78">Dracula</a><a href="/chapter4/index-entry-101">May 1, 1893</a><a href="/chapter1/index-entry-122">Munich</a><a href="/chapter9/index-entry-11">Murder</a><a href="/chapter10/index-entry-68">Succotash</a><a href="/chapter6/index-entry-99">Smith, Dr.</a><a href="/chapter16/index-entry-119">Sambuca</a><a href="/chapter15/index-entry-199">Vienna</a><a href="/chapter2/index-entry-666">Veins</a>
  21. 21. Jonathan Harker’s Journal:3 May. Bistritz.Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May,arriving at Vienna early next morning ...thepost town named by Count Dracula, is afairly well-known place....
  22. 22. Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1stMay, arriving at Vienna earlynext morning ... the post townnamed by Count Dracula, is afairly well-known place....
  23. 23. Left <a id="index-entry-122">Munich</a>at 8:35 P.M., on <a id="index-entry-101">1st May</a>, arriving at <aid="index-entry-199">Vienna</a> earlynext morning... the post town named by<a id="index-entry-99">Count Dracula</a>, is a fairly well-known place...
  24. 24. What does a smart index look like?
  25. 25. Left <a id="index-entry-122"class=”place”>Munich</a> at 8:35 P.M.,on <a id="index-entry-101"class=”date”>1st May</a>, arriving at <aid="index-entry-199"class=”place”>Vienna</a> early nextmorning...the post town named by <aid="index-entry-99" class=”person”>CountDracula</a>, is a fairly well-knownplace...
  26. 26. <a href="/chapter3/index-entry-78" class=”person”>Dracula</a><a href="/chapter4/index-entry-101" class=”date”>May 1, 1893</a><a href="/chapter1/index-entry-122" class=”place”>Munich</a><a href="/chapter9/index-entry-11" class=”cause-of-death”>Murder</a><a href="/chapter10/index-entry-68" class=”food”>Succotash</a><a href="/chapter6/index-entry-99" class=”person”>Smith, Dr.</a><a href="/chapter16/index-entry-119" class=”fooddrink”>Sambuca</a><a href="/chapter15/index-entry-199" class=”place”>Vienna</a><a href="/chapter2/index-entry-666" class=”body-part”>Veins</a>
  27. 27. HEY!THAT’S AN API!THAT WAS EASY!
  28. 28. What can we do with a book API?
  29. 29. We can build different interfacesthat allow readers to engage in different ways.
  30. 30. The Pulp interface.
  31. 31. image: Gleann Ignacio
  32. 32. The Bits interface.
  33. 33. Image: Rebekah Ford
  34. 34. The“what stuff is mentioned in this book” interface: Small Demons.
  35. 35. The“who is reading this and what are they saying about it” interface: Readmill.
  36. 36. The“Let’s explode this book and put it back together in a very cool way” interface: Dracula Dissected. bit.ly/draculadissected
  37. 37. IS THIS HARD?
  38. 38. Not if you use a good book-basedcontent management system. (like PressBooks!).
  39. 39. Conclusions:
  40. 40. 1.Books are made of stuff that can be named
  41. 41. 2. If you name stuff in your HTML (while indexing!), then we can(easily) build new uses/interfaces for our books, such as Dracula Dissected.
  42. 42. 3. <shameless_plug> If you use something like PressBooks to make your books,making Dracula Dissected becomes easy. </shameless_plug>
  43. 43. So ... What is a book?
  44. 44. My definition:“A book is a discrete collection of text (and other media), that is designed by the author(s) as an internally complete representation of an idea, or set of ideas; emotion or set of emotions... ... with an API.”
  45. 45. Talk to me about dissecting your Dracula! hugh@pressbooks.com @hughmcguire http://pressbooks.com
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