2012Q1 Grant Proposal: EPublisher Website


Boris Däppen


[hidden email]

Amount Requested:



Develop and deploy a website which offers the service of rendering different content into eBooks. There will be several input and output formats supported by the website. An explicit input option will be CPAN documentation. POD in general will be an input option. Output options will be eBook formats. The open EPUB but also Amazons MOBI format will be implemented.

The framework used by the website will offer a plugin architecture, so that other input or output formats can be developed and published on CPAN.

Benefits to the Perl Community

Perl developers will benefit from a webservice, which allows them to receive CPAN documentation or other POD content as eBooks. They will also profit from several deliverables which will be published as Perl code in CPAN.


  • Develop and publish a module (e.g. EBook::MOBI) which offers a simple Perl interface to create eBooks in the MOBI format (which is used by Amazons Kindle).
  • Maintain and debug the framework EPhublisher (published by RENEEB on CPAN), including writing plugins for the architecture, which allows simple transformation between different document formats.
  • Develop and run a website, which offers a simple user-interface, to receive different content a an eBook.

Project Details

CPAN module for the MOBI format

The first deliverable will be a module (e.g. EBook::MOBI) released to CPAN. This module will allow Perl developers to write MOBI eBooks, using an object orjented interface in Perl. The Module will borrow some code from the project MobiPerl (which is not located on CPAN, it can be found here: https://dev.mobileread.com/trac/mobiperl). MobiPerl is GPL3 and the developer is fine with it being used (See forum thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php.

Maintaining Framework

The framework EPublisher from Renée Bäcker will be used for this purpose. The author supports me in debugging the module and in writing input and output plugins for it.

Developing Website

The website will be developed using Mojolicious. It will have a simple user interface (e.g. similar to https://metacpan.org/).

Offering the Webservice

The website will be offered by http://perl-services.de/, so that e.g. Perl programmers can use it as a free service.


I will work about 10 hours per week on this project, so it will take much longer than a week for sure.

The first deliverable will be the module for creating MOBI formats. This module will be available on CPAN at least in february 2012.

Writing plugins and some debuging work on the publishing framework will probably find a useful result in march 2012.

The development of the website will take some time, because I have to work myself into Mojolicious. I hope the code will be ready for use at end of march.

So my inch-stones are:

  1. Release CPAN module (something like EBook::MOBI)
  2. Bugfixing of publishing framework from Renée Bäcker.
  3. Writing plugins (input: CPAN, POD / output: EPUB, MOBI (PDF)).
  4. Coding the website.
  5. Taking the webservice online.

Project Schedule

I can start immediately. The webservice should be ready for users in May 2012. Perl developers can profit from some deliverables (e.g. EBook::MOBI) already in February 2012.

Completeness Criteria

  • CPAN module for writing eBooks in the MOBI format.
  • Plugins (input: CPAN, POD / output: EPUB, MOBI) for Renées framework.
  • Website online.


I successfully finished a bachelor level degree in IT at an university of applied science in Zurich, Switzerland in 2006. I learned my first Perl at a IT-service company, located in Zurich, after my studies. Since 2010 I am studying a masters in philosophy of technology in Darmstadt, Germany. In my spare time I am programming Perl for a small Perl-company (perl-services.de)

I enjoy programming Perl since several years, and the fun continues until today. I also have excellent support in this project from Renée, so progress is assured.


I do not think this project is particularly relevant for the Perl community at large.

I have to agree with Leon: I don't believe that this is a good use of the Perl Foundation grant money as I don't see how this contributes to the Perl community.

I'm going to say the same thing for all the grant requests this round ...

As a general rule, I think grants should be used to fund development on projects that are already established.

Speculative projects are just that, speculative. Even if the grant is completed, it's really hard to know whether the resulting work will be useful to anyone.

When funding work on an existing project, we already have some idea of whether or not that project has traction in the wider Perl community.

About TPF

The Perl Foundation - supporting the Perl community since 2000. Find out more at www.perlfoundation.org.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Alberto Simões published on February 4, 2012 1:36 PM.

2012Q1 Grant Proposal: Easy installation of non-CPAN dependencies was the previous entry in this blog.

2012Q1 Grant Proposal: Alien::Base - Base classes for Alien:: modules is the next entry in this blog.

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