Monday, May 7th, 2007

SharedBook: Collaborative On-demand Reverse Publishing Platform

Category: Dojo, Showcase

SharedBook has built a collaborative on-demand Reverse Publishing Platform. The platform automatically flows multiple streams of data (such as archived materials, user-generated content, and photographs) into a structured book product that can be purchased as is, or personalized further. The content can be retrieved from a feed or pushed via SharedBook’s open API.

This is what the SharedBook team said when asked about their choice of JavaScript libraries:

SharedBook started development before JavaScript achieved its current popularity, when there were no mature JS libraries or frameworks to build sites with. Therefore, SharedBook’s site is based on home-grown, proprietary JavaScript libraries. This is especially impressive when visiting the site: SharedBook used its proprietary libraries to create the book building process, collaboration, Web annotations, public and private book making spaces, and more.

When Web 2.0 technologies became widely available, JavaScript libraries and frameworks started appearing around the Internet. SharedBook became one of the first Web applications to integrate an open source, newly-released JS library into a live, for-profit Web site, by adopting the Dojo Toolkit (

Dojo, together with JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), enabled SharedBook to introduce advanced features including Ajax server calls, enhanced GUI widgets, a mashup (you can embed a flash book in your blog), data integration with content sites, and client side software engineering enhancements. The decision to integrate Dojo proved a success: Dojo is now a fundamental part of SharedBook’s site, and time has proven it the leading JS library in the industry.

Here is an example of a book in action. Flip the pages

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:23 am

3.6 rating from 26 votes


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It is good to see the continued roll out of applications that are useful in the real world. As well as applications that embrace the core values of the web 2.0 movement by utilizing leading JS libraries and providing quality API’s.

Comment by Kin Lane — May 7, 2007


Am I correct getting this technology as some crawler? Will it consider robots.txt? What about copyrights of content source web sites?


Comment by Nick — May 8, 2007

Nick – Thanks for your interest in SharedBook. Rather than crawling Web sites for content, our API allows others to share their content with us, when they are interested in generating on-demand output. Therefore, robots.txt is not relevant to what we do. Regarding any copyright issues, that is the responsibility of the companies that work with us or those that are interested in using the API. They are the ones that own the content and/or manage the rights. They also determine the amount of control given to their users when making the books.

Comment by Benjamin — May 8, 2007

Thanks Benjamin for your explanation!

Comment by Nick — May 9, 2007

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