OPDS and the Future of Digital BooksPresentation Transcript
Peter Brantley COSLA
Internet Archive web presentation
San Francisco 10.2010
What readers want to have ..
Be able to find the books they want,
in the formats that they can use, for
the reading platform of their choice,
from any source (and not just GBS!).
What publishers, libraries, bookstores want -
Make books available for discovery,
with accurate descriptive information,
at as many different places as possible,
under the sales / use terms permitted.
Creating a new architecture using common,
open standards that permits people to find,
buy, acquire, and read books from any source,
on any platform, using many different ebook
Content publisher creates a catalog.
1. Reader browses catalog of titles ...
2. selects a title for consideration...
3. obtains book (payment if required) ...
4. places it in the user’s bookshelf.
Bookserver Catalogs are based on the
common XML standard, Atom.
Applications can be quickly written to
read them, across different platforms.
A world beyond Apple, Amazon, Google
BookServer Catalogs can be either:
1) Published by each media provider
(such as a publisher or library), or
2) Aggregated into large collections by
content platforms providing services
Catalogs contain simple data describing
books, + pointers to addt’l data sources –
Generates a parsimonious vector
for providing a content manifest
Catalogs can be used in B2B to share data
with partners instead of using complicated
Take our books! Please!
Internet Archive’s complete public feed:
IA > Kobo Books
IA > Barnes & Noble
IA > ?
Using open standards for describing data, it
is possible to link together data more easily.
This is called “linked data”.
FeedBooks is pioneering the use of Catalogs
create vendor-neutral portable bookshelves.
Manage books from multiple retailers
Backup your files (Local, Dropbox)
Add books to social networks
Share what you’re reading
“Open Publication Distribution System”
(OPDS) is the BookServer catalog spec.,
utilizing the Atom Syndication Format.
Released: 30 August 2010.
Mailing list is public: please join!
Hadrien Gardeur (FeedBooks) has written
excellent primer to BookServer Catalogs:
Ebooks are being enhanced with non-textual
media (video, audio, interactivity) and reader
driven non-linear narratives.
“Many of Penguin’s iPad books seem hardly
to resemble “books” at all, but rather very
interactive learning experiences ... ”
- PaidContent UK
Apple and Google are investing in HTML5.
Next generation web document standard.
Streamlined media, structure, data handling.
Most major web browsers moving to support
HTML5, including those on smartphones, as
well as Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome,
via the “Webkit” rendering engine.
Transition to HTML5
Explosion in # of mobile devices
Increasing wireless broadband (4G+)
Designing for coming EPUB3 =
designing for the (mobile) web.
Pressure to move digital books from self-
contained packages of media assets to a set
of pointers to network located resources.
Mobile access (size, complexity)
Rights relationships (use vs. acquired)
Content sources (contracted vs. user gen)
Networked digital books stretch our
understanding of what a book can be.
Digital book experiences will be
delivered in web browser-based
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