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


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

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,
* O'Reilly Media (hundreds of technical ebooks,
* PragPub Magazine, from The Pragmatic Programmers
* 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