Pressbooks, a popular platform for creating and distributing e-books, have announced they will be making the code for their platform open source. Pressbooks builds on top of the open-source blogging platform WordPress. If done right, this could be very good news for the education sector, which has shown keen interest in e-books recently.
e-Books have been one of the big topics in education this year, with the California “open source textbooks” initiative, the launch of Apple’s iBooks, and the popularity of e-book readers such as Kindle and Nook - not to mention the rise of tablets such as the iPad as e-book readers. Earlier this year a preview of Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education by James Clay was released which is well worth taking a look at.
Pressbooks builds on WordPress to deliver a web-based authoring and production environment for e-books including visual editing, as well as distribution on popular platforms such as Kindle, Nook and Apple iBooks.
The open source announcement was made fairly quietly in a presentation by Pressbooks founder Hugh McGuire in a talk last month.
There are already other open source e-book editors available such as Sigil and BookType; BookType and Pressbooks share a lot of features in common – both are web based with distribution and collaboration features, and support the same range of e-Book formats – so it will be interesting to see how they compare when both are available as open source.
According to Pressbooks, the platform will be made open source in Q1 2013; however they are already reaching out to development partners for early access to the code. For more information, visit pressbooks.com.
Image credit: remiforall, CC-BY