tigue.com: sandbox of a free range programmer

 John Tigue

John Tigue maintains this site and these open source utilities.

An archive of slides and papers from technical presentations is available. Some of the papers are relevant to the utilities presented here.


Currently, I am launching a software startup. Initially we are using e-book technology to market physical, printed books. Think of it as pulling book previews out of the current data silos and instead scattering them throughout the Web.

A main goal of the company is to develop and promote open standards and free software for paginated, fixed-layout books. With interoperable standards, tools could be built to work with books from multiple repositories, some as small as a single book on a static Web site (in extreme: simply a non-networked flash drive), and some containing petabytes of data in sophisticated server farms.

Currently on the Web, for fixed layout books, there is no interoperability between archives/repositories/libraries and reader apps, except BookDROP which was a good first step. I actively participated in that standards effort, including coding up the reference implementation client, but BookDROP can be greatly improved upon. I believe I know how to go about doing that, and it does not require all that much novel work.

Long term, think about this: all the pages of all the books ever published can be scanned (in high resolution) in less than 100 petabyte. Currently that can be squeezed into a bunch of 40 foot shipping containers [1], [2] and is very complicated to maintain. Ten years from now, that will fit on a desktop. Yes, high quality wireless will be ubiquitous but caching will also be greatly improved and if all the books are in a P2P/Freenet type system, then privacy of reading will be enhanced.

The library of physical books can and should consist of first class Web object spread throughout the Web. The current situation of proprietary readers and data silos viewable through the Web is no longer required. Let's change that and see what happens.

Nothing public yet but one might tease it out on my twitter feed.


While working on producing the BISG BookDROP standard in the BookDROP Working Group, I wrote a BISG BookDROP book reader, called BookDropper, as well as a BISG BookDROP Spec Conformance Tester.

Both of these are licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. The source code is available at labs.rosettasolutions.com. (2010-05: labs.rosettasolutions.com is down. Contact me for a copy of the code.)


Teapot is software which enables text editors and XML processors to work together. Teapot can be thought of as the XML equivalent of a spell checker. It does not check for spelling errors but rather for XML syntax errors.

Teapot is an add-on for extensible text editors. The world's most used text editor is Microsoft's venerable notepad.exe but it's not extensible. There are excellent text editors (some of them free) available on the web.

 Collection Indexing

Collection Indexing is an effort to develop a XML-based standard for directory listings on the Web.

Available are documents which introduce Collection Indexing and how it applies to Web servers and clients.

Also available is software which implements Collection Indexing.