The Digital Reader

Charting the eBook Evolution since 2010

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Call for comments: OPDS v0.9 draft

May 14th, 2010 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

First, what is OPDS? Let me give you the 2 highest profile examples. Look at Stanza (on the iPhone) or Aldiko (on Android). From inside each app you can access any number of sites: Feedbooks, Project Gutenberg, etc. The reason you can do this is OPDS. It’s a communication standard that both the apps and the sites have adopted.

If you have an ebook site then you really need to adopt this standard now, before you get left behind. Heck, Fictionwise supports it (at least for Stanza). Why don’t you?

From the email:

Subject: [openpub] Call for comments: OPDS Catalogs 0.9 draft, an Atom-based standard for ebook distribution

Hi,

The OPDS Catalogs 0.9 draft at
http://code.google.com/p/openpub/wiki/CatalogSpecDraft is now ready
for your review and we’d love to get your feedback and comments.
Please submit any and all critiques or comments to the openpub mailing
list (http://groups.google.com/group/openpub) or add an issue
(http://code.google.com/p/openpub/issues/entry) by 19 May 2010.

What are OPDS Catalogs?

OPDS stands for “Open Publication Distribution System” and OPDS
Catalogs enable the aggregation, distribution, and discovery of books,
journals, and other digital content by any user, from any source, in
any electronic format, on any device. The OPDS Catalogs specification
is based on the Atom syndication format and prioritizes simplicity and
speed.

Is this vaporware?

Nope. The OPDS Catalogs 0.9 draft is based on a lot of existing,
in-production software and collaboration between ebook reading
systems, publishers, and distributors. Feedbooks, for example, already
distributes more than 2 million ebooks every month using its OPDS
Catalogs (http://feedbooks.com/catalog.atom) and ebook readers like
Aldiko, Stanza, QuickReader, FBReader, Ibis Reader, and others already
support the evolving specification. Publishers and libraries have been
early adopters of the OPDS Catalogs as the specification has evolved
toward 0.9 as well. Some highlights:

* Internet Archive (1.8 million free books,
http://bookserver.archive.org/catalog/)
* O’Reilly Media (hundreds of technical ebooks,
http://catalog.oreilly.com/aldiko/main.xml)
* PragPub Magazine, from The Pragmatic Programmers
(http://pragprog.com/magazines.opds)
* Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/atom)

OPDS Catalogs are the first component in the Internet Archive’s
BookServer Project (http://www.archive.org/bookserver).

Thanks for your feedback,
Keith Fahlgren & the openpub community

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