Readium.org, an open source initiative supporting ePub 3 launched by the International Digital Publishers Forum, has been organized into the Readium Foundation, a formal membership organization, that will debut at the Paris Book Fair and launch with about two dozen members. The Readium project also announced the release of a software developer’s kit to develop an ePub 3 rendering engine optimized for native apps on tablets and other devices.
Readium.org was launched by IDPF in 2012 to develop a browser-based implementation of ePub 3 standard for multimedia content. The project has released a Chrome OS browser extension that supports ePub3 functionality. The Readium SDK project will solicit developers to create native applications for ePub 3 for mobile devices.
Members of the newly organized Readium Foundation include Baker & Taylor, Kobo, Firebrand Technologies, IDPF, Eden Livre, Hachette Libre, Sony and other companies. According to the IDPF, the Readum Foundation is open to all digital vendors and will focus on the supporting improvements to the ePub 3 standard. Each member has committed to make financial or developmental contributions to the Foundation’s goal.
Matt Carroll, Baker & Taylor executive v-p and CIO, said the company was “very excited to be a contributing member of the ground-breaking initiative of Readium.org to provide an open source solution to accelerate the adoption of EPUB 3 and HTML5,” emphasizing that it will, “remove obstacles and increase the speed to market for publishers, suppliers, retailers and libraries will be invaluable to all.”
IDPF president George Kerscher said, “The industry collaboration within Readium.org is a watershed moment for digital publishing. The new Readium Foundation will complement the work of IDPF and its 300+ members and help significantly in expanding the overall EPUB 3 ecosystem.”