[Bookreader] Book reader and eBook distribution/hosting service

Sayamindu Dasgupta sayamindu at gmail.com
Thu Jan 14 11:12:44 EST 2010

On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 2:23 AM, Martin Langhoff
<martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Sayamindu, Mike,
> Sean Daly forwarded this thread to me - as I'm not on the bookreader
> list. It is a definitely interesting topic. I would like to make it
> really easy for deployments to load up ebooks in all the possible
> supported formats on the XS, and have the XOs browse/read/download
> them trivially.
> What's the best approach for this?
>  - What does Read.xo support already, or what support can be added easily?

Read does not support any book retrieval mechanism. But Get Books and
Get Internet Archive Books do. Get Books support the OPDS standard,
while Get Internet Books support a CSV format used by Internet Archive
(the IA supports OPDS as well).

>  - What minimum-common-denominator have we got in terms of metadata,
> if the XS is going to try to parse the ebooks and offer a
> browsable/searchable UI?

It depends on the format. If the books are EPUB, considerable amount
of metadata can be easily retrieved, but for formats like DJVU, there
may be no metadata at all.
The relevant section in the OPDS specs:

>  - Should we have the option of loading the ebooks into the XS in a
> meta-format (zipfile bundle with metadata, and perhaps various
> versions of the same book)?

I would probably prefer to stick to standard formats, so that
deployments (and if possible, individual schools) would be able to
load books into the XS easily. The workflow I have in my mind is:

1. Have a specified directory on the file system which is crawled
periodically via cron.
2. If a new file is found, metadata is extracted either from the file,
or from an external CSV file which is also found at a fixed location
(CSV so that deployments can use any spreadsheet software while adding
3. Once metadata is obtained successfully the file is added to the index

The index is then generated into OPDS catalogs, which can be queried
from any XO to the XS.
Does this sound sane ?


Sayamindu Dasgupta

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