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Open source e-book tool reduces paper waste at Italian parliament

The Scriba eBook Maker, an open source tool to create documents for e-readers, is helping to cut down on waste paper in the Italian Parliament, according to OSOR. Senators are increasingly combining smart phones and tablet devices with the Scriba e-document service, offering them a practical access to all kinds of documents.

Scriba eBook Maker publishes documents in the platform independent ePub format, optimising layout and text for each and every display. It also converts documents in other but less e-Reader-friendly formats, including HTML, PDF and XML. “The user experience is much better when documents are published in the ePub format”, say Roberto Battistoni, the main developer on the project, and Carlo Marchetti, head of the Senate’s IT Development Office.

Scriba has been developed in about three months, earlier this year. It is still an experimental service, aiming to reduce the amount of paper circulating within in the Italian Senate. The original idea came from the Senate Press Office, which wanted to offer a service for delivering Senate information and press agencies in eBook format.

Scriba is written in Java and it can be used as a command line utility or offered as an enterprise service, deployed on Tomcat or JBoss application servers. The tool now creates eBooks in ePub, Zip and will soon also produce Kindle formats.