eBook DRM and unDRM

A couple of days ago (on my birthday, no less!) I had the honour of moderating a session at the inaugural W3C and IDPF workshop on eBooks and the Open Web Platform, “eBooks: Great Expectations for Web Standards.” Due to a little something I wrote a while ago, I was asked to provide a position paper to the conference which naturally I was quite happy to do. One thing led to another, and there I was on Tuesday in New York, talking about DRM technology in a workshop hosted by O’Reilly, one of the most ardently anti-DRM companies you might name.

Developing for iOS in a Server-Centric World

Turns out, developing iOS apps is different from developing web apps. Like, hella different. For any server-side readers out there, I thought I’d hit you with a few big ones: There is no CSS. Every part of a design has to be coded in Objective-C.

  • There is no flow layout (like HTML). Everything is position: absolute;.
  • Small “cosmetic changes” can mean hours or days for developers to complete.
  • No one unit tests in Cocoa. Like, no one.</li>
  • Likewise, unit testing is a bitch.
  • No one does automated UI testing. There are some open source projects, but it’s far from the mainstream.

Apple's Response to the 'Kindle Theory' of Antitrust

[I]f Amazon was a “threat” that needed to be squelched by means of an illegal conspiracy, why would Apple offer Amazon’s Kindle app on the iPad? Why would Apple conclude that conspiring to force Amazon to no longer lose money on eBooks would cripple Amazon’s competitive fortunes? And why would Apple perceive the need for an illegal solution to the “Kindle threat” when it had an obvious and lawful one which it implemented – namely, introducing a multipurpose device (the iPad) whose marketing and sales success was not centered on eBook sales?

Readium Open Source Initiative Launched to Accelerate Adoption of EPUB 3 | International Digital Publishing Forum

The IDPF has got together a who’s-who of people and companies in the eBook world to work on an open-source implementation of a reference ePub3 reading system and container library. And of course Kobo is putting a ton of weight behind it. Also, me: I’m going to be working on this project full-time here very shortly.

I don't have a story

It’s been fascinating to read all the remembrances of Steve Jobs over the past couple of days, and all the inspiring eulogies written by those whose lives he had profoundly affected in some way.

The Spark

I got into computers at an early age. I suppose it was only natural— my father had been involved with computers and programming since university in the mid 60’s, and by the time I was about 6 or 7 he was working with programming enough that he had a computer at home, on which I wrote my first BASIC program at the age of 8 or 9. My first real exposure to the whole world of computers, however, came through a BBC series called The Dream Machine.


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