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Understanding OPDS
Understanding OPDS
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Web Of Books



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Presentation at Tools of Change Frankfurt introducing the BookServer architecture. Brief description of history, motivations, and technical outline.

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Web Of Books

  1. 1. Peter  Brantley      Tools  of  Change   Internet  Archive      Frankfurt,  Germany   The  Presidio      10.09  
  2. 2.  Entering  the  digital  fold,    a  tangled  landscape:   1.  finding  the  book   2.  format  of  the  book   3.  acquiring  the  book  
  3. 3.  Digital  channels  are  fragmented  ...       web  search?    (Google,  Bing,  etc)     publisher  site?  (  ...  )     the  local  library?    (borrowing/lending)     online  bookstore?  (Amazon,  Indigo)       alt.  vendor?  (Smashwords,  Shortcovers)  
  4. 4.  What  is  the  reader  getting?     highly  structured  display  (PDF)     downloadable  book  (EPUB,  MOBI)     cloud-­‐based    (EPUB  >  HTML,  Flash)     not  really  available  at  all    (biblio  data,  ILL)    
  5. 5. Plethora  of  devices  –       iPhone  |  Android       Sony  Reader  |  iRex  Illiad  |  BeBook  |  Bookeen            Plastic  Logic  |  Amazon  Kindle  reader  device     traditional  laptop     game  console  (Wii)       near-­‐mythical  Apple  Tablet    
  6. 6.  +  Device      +  Format      +  Discovery      +  Acquisition    +  Installation   (  +  DRM  )          =      CONFUSION.  
  7. 7. What  readers  want  to  have  ..   Be  able  to  find  the  books  they  want,   in  the  formats  that  they  can  use,     for  the  device  that  they  have,   and  not  have  it  be  painful.    
  8. 8.  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.  
  9. 9.  Even  the  U.S.  Department  of  Justice  is  an   advocate:    “[book]  data  provided  should  be  available  in   multiple,  standard,  open  formats  supported   by  a  wide  variety  of  different  applications,   devices,  and  screens.”  
  10. 10.  Creating  a  new  architecture  using  common,   open  standards  that  permits  people  to  find,   buy,  acquire,  and  read  books  from  any   source,  on  any  device,  using  many  different   ebook  applications.      
  11. 11.  Library  2.0  Gang  (02/09):    Google  books  and  libraries      various  email  discussions  of  nascent      “Open  Catalogue  Crawling  Protocol”      Google,  DLF,  Talis,  and  others    Atom  vs  Sitemap  discussions  
  12. 12. IDPF  Board      conference  calls   Tools  of  Change  (NYC,  Feb  2009)    hallway  conversations   Web  Expo  2.0  (SF,  Apr  2009)    pinot  noir    
  13. 13.  “The  Open  Publication  Distribution  System   (OPDS)  is  a  generalization  of  the  Atom  [XML]   approach  used  by  Stanza's  online  catalog.    ...    I  believe  this  effort  has  the  potential  to  be  a   critical  enabler  to  the  growth  in  access  to,   and  adoption  of,  digital  books.”        -­‐  Bill  McCoy,  Adobe,  04.09  
  14. 14. “BookServer”  is  the  architecture.     “OPDS”  is  the  technical  specification.   “Catalogs”  are  made  using  OPDS.   “Atom”  is  the  XML  scheme  for  OPDS.  
  15. 15.  Because  OPDS  is  based  on  a  commonly      used  XML  standard,  called  Atom  –          OPDS  Catalogs  can  be  rendered  or  read  by  –     web  browsers       news  readers  (rss)     mobile  applications  
  16. 16. Because  Catalogs  are  easy  to  make  –       any  web  site  can  run  a  bookstore.     libraries,  bookstores,  publishers  can  play.     search  engines  can  serve  as  book  gateways.     aggregators  (IA,  Ingram,  etc.)  can  harvest   multiple  catalogs.  
  17. 17.  Because  Catalogs  contain  simple  data   describing  books  and  their  availability  –      Catalogs  can  also  be  used  for  B2B,  to   distribute  data  to  partners  for  “harvest”   instead  of  using  complicated  standards.    (Future:  “real  time  web”  notifications.)  
  18. 18. Catalogs  provide  manifests  –     list  of  the  titles  available     information  about  each  title     formats  the  title  is  available  in     ways  the  title  can  be  acquired    
  19. 19. A  reader  ...     1.  browses  a  Catalog  of  titles   2.  selects  a  title  for  more  information   3.  makes  a  purchase/borrow  decision   4.  obtains  the  book  (PayPal,  Amazon,  etc.)   5.  installs  and  reads  the  book.  
  20. 20.  Catalogs  can  be  derived  from  basic   bibliographic  metadata.    Such  as:      ONIX,  MARC,  (ahem)  spreadsheets    Internally  OPDS  Catalogs  use    simple  Dublin  Core  metadata    to  describe  the  titles  offered.  
  21. 21. ONIX  (and  BISG  “BookDROP”)  are:       designed  for  a  different  use  cases       complex  standard  with  many  options       not  widely  used  beyond  publishing         not  understood  by  web  browsers         established;  change  is  difficult    
  22. 22.  Because  we  use  open  standards  for   describing  data,  it  is  possible  to  link   bibliographic  book  data  more  easily.  
  23. 23. Catalogs  could  tie  together  –       book  reviews     reading  lists     annotations     fan  fiction     etc.  
  24. 24. A  workshop  sponsored  by  the  Internet  Archive   October  19-­‐20,  Fort  Mason   San  Francisco,  California   With  the  assistance  (among  many  others):         O’Reilly  Media       Threepress       Feedbooks       Book  Oven  
  25. 25.   Adobe     Ingram  Digital     Aldiko       O’Reilly  Media     (Amazon)  Lexcycle     OLPC     Applewood  Books     Pixel  Qi     Book  Oven     Shortcovers     Booki     Threepress     Feedbooks    ...  psst  ...     HumanWare     and  others    
  26. 26. Contact  information:   peter  brantley      internet  archive   @naypinya  (twitter)      peter  @   keith  fahlgren        o’reilly  media     @abdelazer  (twitter)    keith  @