HEAD TO Hellman

They never let witnesses, spectators, or journalists to carry cell phones or kindles or iPads into the Federal Courthouse in New York. But books are OK. So every publishing executive at the iBookStore antitrust trial carries a written book with them instead. For instance, The Verge spotted Penguin’s David Shanks sporting Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland. An image is used by The press, and the next day the book, which just so ıs definitely a thrilling era, gets its cover onto leading web page of the business section, not forgetting HEAD TO Hellman.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a magic formula place, under a bushel neither, but on a candlestick, that they that can come in may start to see the light. Nor do a scroll vendor speak its name so no man canst hear. Nay, he shouted from the high mountain tops the holy amounts of the scroll.

Luke 11:33 (pretty much). Which means you would believe publication publishers would also be spreading metadata for their books all over and would make it as simple as possible for programmers to propagate the term. But the tyranny of “the way we’ve always done things” still holds sway for the reason that world.

And so, the HarperCollins OpenBook API and the BookSmash builder competition, that I ranted about in my last post, have to be known as the positive steps they are. These are opportunities for publishers and developers to engage in ways that are not chiseled in the rock. For my part, I’ve been participating with some very useful people at HarperCollins.

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Together, some documentation was found by us conditions that acquired me unsure about the resources being offered to challenge participants. Of all First, the whole text of the 196 books listed in the resources spreadsheet are being offered. This is very cool. Also, 20% examples of all EPUB books in the HarperCollins catalog are available through the standard API. If you’re participating in the challenge, you should employ a different endpoint than the one offered by the API demonstration tool to get un-truncated text.

Yes, you duplicate the url it offers you (sponsor name “diner”) and replace the endpoint URL with one reported in the text on the demo tool (host-name “api”). EPUB’ have preview content associated with them. The API will demand throttling in a funny way. If you make too many requests in a short period of time, the API lets you know “Developer Inactive”.

That result appears to get stuck in a server-side cache. The HC people appear eager to enhance the API, so don’t hesitate to record issues in their discussion boards. If you’ve ever developed an API, you understand that you have to whack at it a bit to get things right. Publishers cause ONIX XML files that explain their books to enter into existence. These documents are shipped to “trading partners”.

The reason, pretty much, that the publishers do this is because way when back, Amazon forced them to do it that way instead of the horrible old ways they used to do things. So the good reason that the HarperCollins API, and others like it, are significant, is not because they will be useful in their current form. It’s because big publishers have realized that getting bossed around by Amazon is probably not the smartest thing to do, and maybe having more direct relationships with developers will be a good notion.