More on Readium goals and status

February 14, 2012

We've been thrilled by the generally positive reception to the announcement of Readium Project. One thing that surprised us was the  large number of folks who atttempted "in earnest" use of the initial proof-of-concept prototype Chrome Extension, some of whom were disappointed when it didn't handle everything thrown at it, didn't have snappy performance, or exhibited other infelicities. In many respects this is good news: demonstrating latent demand, and generating bug reports that we can now address. But, in hindsight we probably should have communicated more explicitly about the project's status. To SW folks "proof of concept prototype" - especially in context of an open source project just kicking off - clearly implies  "not yet ready for prime time". But that apparently wasn't clear to everyone, and was further obscured by the easy one-click install and somewhat polished looking UI. But make no mistake: this project started up just 5 weeks ago, and whether any of the code or UI developed during that time will be a part of the utlimate Readium codebase (which will definitely NOT be limited to JavaScript components) is entirely TBD. The reason for exposing it yesterday was to create a rally point: demonstrating just how useful built-in EPUB handling in a browser coudld be, and whetting folks' appetites for more. Now, the real work begins to advance the project goals and prioritize and address sub-projects.