OpenReader Orange Logo Update as of December 20, 2013

Book, Magazine and Newspaper

The OpenReader project has been both a rousing success and an utter failure, the contradictions of which will be briefly explained.

The biggest success of OpenReader was to prod IDPF to take digital publication standards more seriously, and to finally develop and promote a true consumer ebook standard (EPUB). Bill McCoy, formerly of Adobe, who was the person most responsible for convincing IDPF to develop and release EPUB, graciously documents this fact in a blog article he wrote January 3, 2007.

The biggest failure of OpenReader was not being able to gain enough developer and publisher support necessary to break through the “Catch-22” of trying to successfully deploy any open standard in the marketplace. We received some support which we are thankful for, notably OSoft, but not quite enough to reach critical mass. We knew going into this project that it was going to be an uphill struggle to achieve critical mass.

So, rather than continue on as we have, we have decided to put OpenReader into “cold storage.” This allows us to resurrect OpenReader in some fashion if future events require it. Of course, the suite of open specifications that OpenReader developed will still be available to the public. They contain several innovations we believe should be embraced by similar XML-based digital publication frameworks, such as future versions of the IDPF specifications that form the basis of EPUB.

Our fight for meaningful, comprehensive, state-of-the-art digital publication open standards will now happen within IDPF. One of our recommendations to IDPF is that they aggressively “brand” the EPUB standard, which includes, for example, developing an EPUB logo not unlike the well-known “Intel Inside” logo. We also encourage IDPF to stress the non-DRM side of EPUB. More specific recommendations regarding branding, DRM, etc., will be periodically discussed in the TeleRead blog.

Thanks to everyone who helped and/or endorsed the OpenReader project.

And who knows, we just may return!

(For further information on OpenReader, contact Jon Noring)