newbie question regarding creation of a book

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Chen

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Oct 8, 2007, 3:23:49 PM10/8/07
to SharedBook APIs
Hello,

Only spending several hours learning the api with help of some
examples, I'm sure there may some straightforward answers to my
question. Anyway I just wonder if things similar to the personalize
process available after login can be achieved by current api, for
example page design, layout, or at least which page contains which
photo etc. etc. From my short experience working with the api, it
doesn't seem to offer those. That actually leads to my second
question: as a developer, what else I can offer my users after say,
importing their photos into a book, such as putting a specific photo
on certain page? If all those personalizations are not achievable from
exposed api, is it true that as developer/api user, I can treat the
book creating process simply as setting some major parameters (title,
dedication etc.) plus importing necessary photos and contents which
will be used as editorial materials? (I'd be glad if that's indeed the
case as I can imagine that exposing the whole personalization process
as services would cost heavily and also have danger of losing
competitive advantage.)

Many Thanks,

Chen

Ben Horst

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Oct 8, 2007, 5:23:02 PM10/8/07
to sharedb...@googlegroups.com
Hi Chen,

Thanks for your questions--I'll try to answer them from a more general
perspective, and if you need detailed technical answers, we can ask for
a developer to weigh in as well.

The API currently does not implement many of the personalizations you
can do from within the SharedBook application itself, including your
examples of page design and layout. In general, from within the API you
also cannot specify which page a photo will appear on, except when you
set it as a front or back cover photo or include it in an article.

Your understanding is accurate: You can "treat the book creating process


simply as setting some major parameters (title, dedication etc.) plus
importing necessary photos and contents which will be used as editorial

materials."

Photos and stories from the API will flow into the SharedBook
application, where the end user can interact with them, remove or
rearrange them in the book, or upload more photos and enter more text.
The first thing he will see, though, is a PDF preview of the book
automatically filled with the content flowed through the API. At this
point, he can purchase the book with one click, without having to go
through further personalization at all.

Hope this helps,
Ben

Chen

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Oct 8, 2007, 6:08:19 PM10/8/07
to SharedBook APIs
Thanks Ben for the prompt reply. One thing I'm still not quite sure is
how sharedbook creates the initial layout and design given an article,
some comments and photos. In other words, what sort of criteria will
sharedbook apply when creating a book, presumably by figures like
length of the article supplied, number of comments/photos imported
etc.? This is not documented anywhere on the website if I didn't miss
anything.

On the other hand I'll get some more hands-on experience myself to see
how sharedbook creates a book using those materials.

Many Thanks,

Chen

Ben Horst

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Oct 9, 2007, 11:51:57 AM10/9/07
to sharedb...@googlegroups.com
Hi Chen,

We use pre-defined templates for the layout of the book and the design
of its pages. We upload these with an internal CMS we've developed, and
customize them on a per-client basis. Currently, all users of the open
API are fed into the same templates because the API is set up as one
"client" in this sense.

We do plan to expand the API to provide developers who use it greater
control over their templates, but that's farther down the roadmap.

To see what API book templates look like now, you can check out the
existing model using the "Open API Community Book":
http://colowww.sharedbook.com/pilot/enterBook.do?bookId=Open%20API%20Com
munity2007_001

Let me know if you have any further questions!

-Ben

Chen

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Oct 9, 2007, 2:27:18 PM10/9/07
to SharedBook APIs
Thanks very much Ben. As I said I'll do some experiments myself and
more importantly, I'd submit something for the extended api challenge
hopefully. You've done a brilliant job releasing the api, now it's
time to have it for great use.

Chen

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