Open Inspiration

There has been no shortage of fuel, inspiration and just plain change happening lately, some of it coming out of unconference land like Vancouver’s successful BookCamp (#bcvan09) and conference land like O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 show (#w2s). Change coming from search engine giants and giant bookstores. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to any of the conferences but I was able to keep a twittering eye on the discussion coming out of them, however tweetingly.

A very cool conference or rather workshop, that took place this week that I also could not attend (it was by invite only) but wished I could have was the Internet Archive and partners workshop that looked at the development of an open platform for electronic books for developers and early implementers called Making Books Apparent (#makebooks). (Okay, that is a long run on sentence.)

Even through my twitter lens I could tell this conference was about something big. For the most part the conference was about the idea of digital catalogues using the rough draft of the OPDS specification

But the Internet Archive did more than just talk about the standardthey demoed cool solutions that use the OPDS standardone of which is called BookServer. Essentially BookServer is a growing open architecture for vending and lending digital books over the Internet. That’s all. But it had people like NetGalley’s Fran Toolan, who is no slouch when it comes to things technical and book related, saying things like:

Rarely, in my career have I been “blown away” by a demonstration.

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One issue did come up that is very near and dear to our hearts here at BookNet and I am very keen on getting to the bottom of was where does OPDS end and ONIX begin or vice versa. I am still waiting for the answer to that question but in the meanwhile check out the work that is being done and some of the presentations on Slideshare. And don’t forget these are not ready for prime time solutions. That is where BookNet comes in with Biblioshare!

Rural Design Collective: Good example of what we could create with an OPDS feed + XSL

Open Libray Catalogue Search:
Open Library Catalog Search

Hadrien Gardeur’s Extending OPDS: