Archive for April, 2009

Announcing Open Publication Distribution System

Stanza, the leading iPhone eBook software, includes an excellent online catalog system that enables users to seamlessly acquire free and commercial content from within the application. The Lexcycle team built this system in an open, extensible manner using Atom. Adobe and Lexcycle have been working together on Adobe PDF and EPUB eBook support, and now we are deepening that collaboration in working together, along with the Internet Archive and others, to establish an open architecture enabling widespread discovery, description, and access of book and other published material on the open web. The Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) is a generalization of the Atom approach used by Stanza’s online catalog. I’m grateful to the Lexcycle team as well as my friend and colleague Peter Brantley for their efforts on behalf of open access and interoperability.
This work is at a relatively early stage, as evidenced by the “DRAFT” notice on the specification wiki and the intentionally lightweight process (i.e. not yet involving a de jure standards body), We are taking a page from the way Atom itself was nurtured in the early going. If you are a reading system provider, or a distributor of free or commercial digital publications and are interested in signing on as a supporter and contributing to the definition of OPDS, get in touch with Peter, myself, or Marc Prud’hommeaux at Lexcycle.
I believe this effort has the potential to be a critical enabler to the growth in access to and adoption of digital books., For consumers, OPDS will deliver seamless integration of convenient acquisition from many sources, on any device or reading system, without lock-in to “One Store to Rule Them All”. For content distributors, ODPS will enable reaching consumers across multiple reading systems and devices: not as a replacement for online Web stores, but as a valuable supplement and on-ramp. For reading system developers, OPDS will make your device/application more useful and valuable. Stay tuned for more soon about how OPDS will be utilized within the Adobe digital publishing solution set.