Readium Open Source Initiative Launched to Accelerate Adoption of EPUB 3: ACCESS, Adobe, Barnes & Noble, Copia, Google, Kobo/Rakuten, O’Reilly, Samsung, Sony, others support project to advance universal digital publishing format

February 13, 2012

New York, NY, February 13, 2012 -The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) today announced the Readium Project, a new open source initiative to develop a comprehensive reference implementation of the IDPF EPUB® 3 standard. This vision will be achieved by building on WebKit, the widely adopted open source HTML5 rendering engine.

EPUB, an XML and Web Standards based format developed by the IDPF, has become a key global standard in the rapidly developing digital publishing industry, enabling digital books and publications to be portable across devices and reading systems. EPUB 3, a major revision of the standard, was approved in October 2011 and is available at http://idpf.org/epub/30. The new version aligns EPUB with HTML5 and adds support for video, audio, interactivity, vertical writing and other global language capabilities, improved accessibility, MathML, and styling and layout enhancements.  WebKit is an open source rendering engine for HTML5 and related Web Standards. WebKit is utilized as the underlying engine in many web browsers and applications, including Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Apple iBooks, Adobe AIR®, Nokia MeeGo®, HP webOS, and others. Project Readium is focusing on developing a complete reference implementation of EPUB 3 utilizing the WebKit engine. Packaged as a test application for content developers, the Readium codebase will also serve as a steppingstone for commercial reading systems. A proof-of-concept prototype is available now as a Google Chrome browser extension for Windows and Mac OS/X, and the project aims to deliver a feature-complete implementation including an Android® configuration by mid-2012.

"Project Readium will significantly accelerate EPUB 3 adoption and increase implementation consistency”, said Bill McCoy, Executive Director of the IDPF. "A universal digital publishing format for the open web benefits the entire industry and ultimately consumers, who want the freedom to read on their choice of applications and devices.”

Project Readium sponsors and other industry stakeholders welcomed this IDPF-sponsored activity. A quote sheet with quotes from the following is available at http://idpf.org/readium-support : ACCESS, Adobe, Anobii, Apex CoVantage, Assoc. American Publishers (AAP), Barnes & Noble, Bluefire Productions, BISG, Copia, DAISY, EAST, EDItEUR, Evident Point, Google, Incube Tech, Kobo/Rakuten, Monotype, O’Reilly, Rakuten, Safari Books Online, Samsung, Sony, VitalSource, Voyager Japan.

For more information about the project, including how to participate and links to downloads and source code, visit http://readium.org .

About the IDPF

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the global trade and standards organization for the digital publishing industry. IDPF is responsible for EPUB, the open standard digital publication format based on XML and Web technology, and organizes industry events such as Digital Book 2011 at BookExpo. The IDPF is a not for profit organization with over 300 members comprising publishers, vendors, libraries and organizations from over twenty-five different countries. For more information, visit http://idpf.org . EPUB is a registered trademark of the IDPF. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.