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It seems to me that your decision to move to Mozilla platform is right.

But why you begin to develop a new EPUB reader based on Mozilla browser instead of joining development of the excellent Mozila-based EPUBReader (available at

Richard Pipe

A good question. Firstly I installed and used EPUBReader and its OK. However it doesn't seem to be an open source project looking for contributors, at least I can't find any references.

But the real reason we are doing our own thing is we are looking forward to XHTML/CSS-3 streaming and companion content with ePub, and streaming content without ePub - particularly for education. So our direction is pretty different.

I think this project is great, especially with the translations and easy accessibility. I don't think the world can have too many ePub readers!

We are a company with certain objectives and have both front and back-end content delivery and fulfilment technology. AZARDI II will hopefully be more than an ePub reader.


Really, EPUBReader isn't Open Source project; its license prohibits distributing modified versions. Of course, it would be hardly reasonable to contribute to this project such clause being in force.

I don't know the reasons why EPUBReader is freeware but not open source; it seems to me entirely unreasonable approach to such kind of project. Perhaps you should contact EPUBReader's author, Michael Volz, and ask him if he would agree to opensource the project? Unnecessary splitting of similar efforts already killed many good projects.

P. Baker

But then, Azardi II (while it sounds very promising) is also not open source. I'd like to see an open-source epub reader using the Mozilla/Gecko with the sort of vision the Azardi people seem to have.

Richard Pipe

While I think there are many applications that really benefit as open source (OS, Databases, Frameworks, format processors, browsers especially, etc.) I am not entirely convinced that creative or personal vision work should be open source. All our enterprise software is released on a visual source license - which means the code is available for view and modification by users but it is not GPL'ed.
When a developer or team has a certain "direction" for a more "arty" product they are creating the last thing they want is others applying paint to the canvas. Derivatives can occur after the work is hanging in the gallery.

Not making AZARDI II open source is not about commercial secrets, after all it is not particularly hard to program an e-pub reader, especially in XUL where most of the work has been done by the Mozilla team. It's about developing to a purpose and not getting side-tracked. Any e-pub reader has to be free by it's nature. My view of an e-pub reader is:

* e-pub is just a part of it. HTML5/CSS-3 must be there
* Eschew paper metaphors - no shelves, no animated page turns (yuk).
* Scrolling interface-out with the page plague
* Interaction depth a priority
* Some methods to support the best of the standards Internet
* Forget novels and trade books and focus on new delivery paradigms for XYZT (three dimensional plus temporal) content.

So the focus is on what it is and does rather than any particular underlying software.

However to conclude this ramble, we don't have any problem opening the e-pub reader part of AZARDI II and releasing it into the wild. I am sure some significantly better code could come back.


Hi Richard,

Do you know that there are opensource projects to create epub reader based on Mozilla platform?

Those projects are called Lucidor (XulRunner app)
and Lucifox (Firefox Extension) both available at

Both applications are quite feature-rich - they have even full-text search feature.

Instead of creating Azardi II from scratch InfogridPacific could contribute to Lucidor or Lucifox project or to fork from these projects.

It sounds strange to me that you rule out opensource route for Azardi II on the ground that your project has clear purpose and should not be sidetracked. If you establish an opensource project, the you have full control over which ideas are accepted and which code is added, and which are not.

Richard Pipe

Well you have upset my carefully pushed apple cart!. Lucidor is fantastic, especially in the area that I am most critical of other readers - presentation options. It is easily the best epub reader available IMHO, including what I have seen of iPad. Notes roll-overs.... thank you, thank you.

I have thrashed it all day with all sorts of evil epubs and it never misses a beat. The three presentation models and ability to auto set the column pagination is nothing short of brilliant... genius - what XPGT? Thank you Ordbrand.

We are going into one of those "what now" huddles we all need from time to time.

Laisvunas.... (dramatic pause) Thanks for the link. It's now my default epub reader. Will keep you updated as things move ahead, or sideways, or whatever!

Richard Pipe

P. Baker... It's found. Lucidor has the most amazing presentation interface I have seen and better than anything I had considered. The auto column feature is WOW! See comments above


Hi Richard,

I'm glad that you liked Lucidor.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that Lucidor/Lucifox is the best epub reader available. In it we find rich feature set and some real innovation while most other readers display lack of imagination of their authors with bookshelf images and animation of the page turns.

What Lucidor/Lucifox needs most, in my opinion, is some polishing and making more usable of its interface. But since this software is opensource, I hope there will be some contributions or forks which will deliver better interface and even more features.

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