The Quest for the Missing eBook Reading App

RSS  •  Permalink  •  Created 12 Oct 2014  •  Written by Alberto Pettarin

In the wake of the infamous Adobe incident and thinking about what I saw at the recent Italian EPUB Day, I tweeted that I was contemplating the idea of open sourcing the code of our Android/iOS app Menestrello. More precisely, to make it available under a free software, commercially friendly license, for example the MIT license.

I have not made my mind up on the subject yet, for a series of reasons I cannot/do not want to disclose now.

If you landed here and care about eBooks as learning tools (broadly defined), please keep reading and offer your opinion.

(If you just wanted to get the code, you can go back to /r/aww now.)

The problem

We (as in "the human society as a whole") are in urgent need for good, truly FOSS eBook reading apps.

Here is a list defining the "good, truly FOSS eBook reading app":

  • allowing offline reading
  • available as a native app for phones, tablets, and PCs
  • modular architecture, with a "curated" core of essential functions, and a community-driven repository of plugins
  • providing an ergonomic UI for learning activities
  • supporting open formats (e.g., EPUB) to ensure interoperability with other tools
  • accessible to people with disabilities
  • FOSS project, with a commercially-friendly license available for free

I can justify each of the above assertions, but this post will grow too long and, frankly, I am quite tired, as I spent the (Sun)day working.

If you know about a project with all the above properties, please let me know.