Welcome (Back) To O'Reilly Labs

By Andrew Savikas
February 9, 2009 | Comments: 2

You're probably familiar with the "labs" concept of a dedicated R&D space for projects and products that are still rough around the edges. Google Labs is probably the best known, but there's also Adobe Labs, digg Labs, Reuters Labs, and many more.

A few years back we tried our own hand at it, and came up with some very slick apps built on top of content we'd assembled into a MarkLogic XML database:


A lot has changed since we launched Labs, and so in conjunction with the 2009 Tools of Change for Publishing conference, we're happy to announce the return of O'Reilly Labs, and with it two new projects:

  • Bookworm, the online EPUB reader. With Bookworm, you upload and organize your ebooks, and can read them online as well as a variety of mobile devices, including the iPhone. It's open source, and built on top of well-documented and supported frameworks and standards.
  • O'Reilly Product Metadata Interface (OPMI). Exposing product data and information about content is an easy way to encourage others to build cool stuff with your content (the New York Times has been prolific in this area of late). For starters, we've exposed a good chunk of the metadata about our books as RDF.

We look forward to launching more apps within Labs, as well as opening up more of our data and content to outside developers. For now you can keep up with us here on the Labs blog, follow us on Twitter (@oreillylabs), or subscribe to our RSS Feed.


Big thanks to Liza Daly (@liza) of Threepress for making Bookworm and helping us with the OPMI!



The free platform for reading EPUB books online from any device.

Integrated with O'Reilly Labs 02/09/09.

First translations added 03/11/09.

Feedbooks integration & one-click addition added 07/29/09.

Beta Projects

Open Feedback Publishing System (OFPS)

Participate in collaborative community feedback to help refine in-progress, open manuscripts like Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript or the published Programming Scala.

Released 05/20/09.

O'Reilly Product Metadata Interface (OPMI)

Want to know all we know about an  O'Reilly book? Give us an ISBN and we'll let you in on our (RDF) secrets!

Released 02/09/09.

Open Source

DocBook-XSL 1.74.3 with Improved ePub Output

Keith Fahlgren (O'Reilly Media) helped release the stable 1.74.3 release of the open source DocBook-XSL project and improved the EPUB generation stylesheets. Paul Norton (Adobe) and Liza Daly (Threepress) provided very helpful patches.

Released 02/17/09.

DocBook-XSL 1.74.0 EPUB Output

Paul Norton (Adobe) and Keith Fahlgren (O'Reilly Media) have contributed code to the 1.74.0 release of the open source DocBook-XSL project that generates EPUB documents from DocBook. An alpha-quality reference implementation in Ruby was also been provided.

EPUB is an open standard of  the The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and something O'Reilly is trying  to help gain wider adoption.

Released 06/02/08.