|Louis Suárez-Potts||Mar 20, 2012 8:11 am|
|Subject:||[odf-adoption] odf e-book reader/open access|
|From:||Louis Suárez-Potts (lui...@gmail.com)|
|Date:||Mar 20, 2012 8:11:29 am|
Following Charles' suggestions, I'd like to propose a campaign to promote ODF among ebook readers for tablets and smartphones.
I have been doing this for some time. For the iPad, there exist at least three, now, including the Symphony one, but also earlier apps. There is no editor for ODF for Android or iOS, though there may be one soon for WebOS and possibly other Linux derivations, such as Tizen, Meego, etc. (RiM 10 is unknown.)
The issue for a campaign, as I see it, is the leverage point. I suggest the Open Access movement. OA is most forceful in academia but is also widely recognized in enterprises, especially those concerned with scientific discourse, and even more so with the biological sciences. I suggest OA because I do have contacts there, and because possibly others in the TC do, too. (Other Oasis ODF TCs might have other members involved in OA.)
Enterprise usage of ODF for ebooks is appealing, but my guess is that until a reasonable editor is available, and not just a reader/viewer, as already exists, OA is preferred. There are more arguments on behalf of OA, not least of them being that "academia" translates easily to "education," and to the desirability of issuing texts of all sorts in ODF format to students taking OA courses worldwide.
As the format, unlike PDF, is quite open, and as it can be created for free using any number of implementations, the case for ODF is sound. The idea is to lower barriers to the dissemination and acquisition, as well as use, of the documents.
If we want to move ahead with this, having the Oasis TCs behind us would be immensely useful, and we could even use the Plugfest--or even DFD--as a launching pad. The members of this TC would surely spark interest in some of the OA community. For the most part, they recognize big publishers, such as Elsevier or Springer-Verlag or the US equivalents. But that is because the initial goal of OA is to move knowledge from behind the proprietary firewall to those who want and need it most for their work. Yet, none of the OA adherents is ignorant of the need for making open and available general education material, and this would be done (could be done) independent of any established publisher, at least for now.
The obstacles are many, not least of them being inertia. But having big names and big organizations can change the sluggish flow of inertia. And there are numerous national, sub-national and private enterprises very eager indeed to benefit from these changes.
Let's then open the floor--this floor--to suggestions about proceeding with making ODF a standard option for e-readers.
(Oh, and OA is not the only way; it's just one. There are many free ebook sites where ODF could be present, starting with the Gutenberg Library but also including Manybooks.net and others.)