December 7th, 2009
It’s been a few months since my last Codex updates so I wanted to pass along where things stand at the moment:
1. First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who e-mailed their pledges for supporting a commercial successor to Books. I have officially begun development on Codex as the successor to the Books platform.
2. Using some of the code originally developed for the Spotlight and QuickLook plugins, my development version of Codex can now read ePub files. The next major challenge is to implement the writer for ePub that conforms to all the relevant standards.
3. I spent some time this weekend working on the user interface. The UI is still in its early phases, but I have a few general principles nailed down.
First of all, the new app will be a document-based application that will allow multiple records to be opened at once.
A document’s window will consist of a handful of tabs. The primary tab will be an overview tab that will consist of a styled WebKit window for displaying the metadata in an easy to read form. Think of this as the details view in the current version of Books combined with the cover view.
The second tab will be dedicated to adding and editing metadata for the open record. I am currently debating how to expose the full power of ePub’s data model in such a way that accommodates both advanced and casual catalogers. I’m still working on the interface for this, so stay tuned.
The third tab will be dedicated to custom metadata, while the fourth tab will be dedicated to the record’s content. This content tab is a new addition to the application and a replacement for the attached files feature in the current version of Books. Content added in this section will be exposed in such a way that makes it both accessible from within Codex as well as other ePub-reading applications.
As these sections develop further, I will post screenshots for feedback. I expect to have an early alpha version of the application ready for early review around the end of this month or early next month.
4. Amazon lookup support won’t likely be in the initial versions of Codex unless I can figure out a way around the “no mobile apps” condition of their license agreement. However, I will ship with Library of Congress support at the very least.
Thanks to everyone again for the feedback and support for continuing this project. I look forward some more updates soon.