OpenBooks News

Welcome to OpenBooks 10.

June 11, 2023

After a long break, OpenBooks has entered active development again, and I'm pleased to release a new major version of OpenBooks, version 10.0.

10.0 builds on top of the previous versions, but adds a new visual design language and navigation paradigm. In its early versions, not all pages have been updated yet, but over time the site will have a new cohesive aesthetic. It's inspired by the Zune desktop software and portable media players, a recent obsession of mine.

Over time, I'm planning on adding more personal content to the site as well, as I think that's something that's been lacking in the past few versions of OpenBooks. The personal touch hasn't really been present since versions 3 or 4, though I did have some more content in version 8 a few years back. I really want to make things more personal again as I've mostly abandoned social media in recent years.

I hope the new look isn't too jarring and doesn't upset people like previous modern redesigns have. I hope you like it as much as I do, please watch this space for updates soon!

Thanks - Coyote Reyne-Hartje, creator of OpenBooks

OpenBooks is now 100% mobile responsive.

November 7, 2021

After a few months break - due to personal reasons more suited to my blog than here, but most of it culiminates in "Coyote didn't have access to work on OpenBooks for a while", the next version of OpenBooks is here.

OpenBooks 9.7 introduces a simplified home page that is now mobile compatible, just like the rest of the site. The live tiles have been removed in favor of more simple navigation. There are still a few tweaks that should be made, but it was important to get to full compatibility sooner than later. The previous design also had some reflow issues in Firefox which this version should not have.

I should be able to be more active and keep updating OpenBooks more regularly soon, as there are plenty of new projects and personal pages I'd like to add.

Thanks, Coyote Reyne

The next version of OpenBooks

August 6, 2021

You may have noticed several pages on OpenBooks getting a visual refresh, but there's actually a bit more going on under the hood. For the first time since OpenBooks 8.0, the site is being re-written from the ground up. However, instead of starting from zero, the newly designed pages are meant to blend in with the older styles, so the experience is consistent.

For the first time, most pages on OpenBooks are now fully mobile responsive, except for the home page. One of the original goals of OpenBooks 9.0 was to be mobile responsive, however, I ended up scrapping that idea as I wasn't happy with what I was capable of doing at the time - it felt half-baked. The rebuilt pages after OpenBooks 9.6 look now look just as good on mobile as they do on a desktop PC.

As of now, the only pages yet to be rebuilt using the new CSS are the home page, and the sitemap. Once the home page is done, the version number will likely be updated to 10.0. After that, the update system might work differently. Who knows, I might call it OpenBooks X. I actually considered making some kind of code-name for the rebuilt page style, but internally they're just referred to as "96.css" where the old style was "94.css". (95.css is used only on the home page).

There's no current plan for when the new home page will be ready - even though 9.5 just had a new home page design, it needs to be completely rebuilt for mobile compatiblity, and I want to do something better than the tiles - the ideas I had for them when they were first added to OpenBooks 9.0 never really panned out.

Thanks, Coyote Reyne

The OpenBooks WebRing

June 8, 2021

The official OpenBooks WebRing is now available from the main page. This is the final successor to the original Network Neighborhood, and its attempts at revival, network2.

This is actually the first time I have made a proper webring - prior 'networks' weren't true webrings, like most of the ones you see on Neocities today. So why make one now, if there are already so many?

OpenBooks, and its sister site, VHSearch, are still visible on the Neocities home page. I want to use that opportunity to showcase other sites - and a webring and Discord community seem like the best way to do this, as well as promote the idea of personal static web pages into the next decade. Another webring just means more choices - more people - more static sites. All of which I think are good for the future of the personal web.

Right now, the 'Ring is still quite basic - the only sites in it are my own. You can join the Discord however, and ask to join it there. I'll update the code and send you a JS snippet to add to your site. I will also be updating the page on OpenBooks to showcase each site in the ring, with a personalized description and screenshot. Your site doesn't even have to be on Neocities, it just has to be a static website.

I hope you're as excited as I am about this new webring.

Thanks, Coyote Reyne

Welcome to OpenBooks 9 Series.

May 13, 2021

The next major revision of OpenBooks is here, featuring a complete redesign.

OpenBooks 9 puts a focus back on personal pages, starting with an all-new home page with easier access, and room to add more personalized content in the future. I will be adding 'microsites' for other projects I'm working on, in addition to the one personal microsite which is currently live.

There is also now a page for our Discord server, in preparation of the launch of OpenBooks' first true webring, as well a new links page featuring my favorite places on the web and Neocities.

I hope you enjoy browsing this website as much as I enjoy making it.

Thanks, Coyote Reyne

OpenBooks in 2021

May 1, 2021

I have a lot of changes planned for OpenBooks in the near to far future. OpenBooks will no longer attempt to be some kind of 'grand web portal', which, to be honest, it never really succeeded at. Uploading the archive of this site back to 2014 has inspired me, but this site is going to focus far more on things that personally interest me.

For now, I've started by tweaking the home page design, and pushing out some general improvements to the site, such as updating all pages to be the same width (instead of the current mis-match of page designs dating back to 8.0 in 2019) so things will feel a bit more consistent.

I've kept a version numbering system for most of OpenBooks' history, and the current version is the 8th major iteration. OpenBooks 8 Series, as it is known, will continue for a while, as new features and pages are added. However, I am planning a redesign for OpenBooks 9, though, I think it might be funny if I skip to 10 like Microsoft did. This redesign will keep the same general look and feel, like how OpenBooks 2 and 3 are basically the same, but with different CSS on top. However, OpenBooks 9 will differ by having a fully mobile-compatible design, something I learned how to do since I stopped updating OpenBooks in 2019 and worked on my personal sites (formerly Utsurundesu, and my current portfolio site.)

I also have a Discord server again, you can find it linked on the home page.

Thanks, Coyote Reyne

Oh, one more thing. Network2 isn't quite dead yet.

OpenBooks: The Re-Up

April 30, 2021

Hi all. Creator of OpenBooks here, now going under yet a different name (though this time legally!)

I'm re-uploading OpenBooks for historical reasons, there is no guarantee I'm going to work on this site again. It just didn't make sense to me that it wasn't accessible anymore, at least as an archive of the design.

Follow my current work on Twitter.

The Future of OpenBooks and network2

June 16, 2019

Today, we launched the first major update to OpenBooks, which refines the design direction we're moving in and introduces the Articles feature. Last month, Network2 announced its return to Neocities. As OpenBooks is one of the founders of Network2, we thought it was worth letting the public know a little bit of what we have in store.

From this point, OpenBooks is going to be Network2's brand for Neocities community services - such as search engines, portals, and directories. What does this mean for you? Honestly, not very much will change visibly.

We're also working behind the scenes to create Network2's website, as the current design is just a placeholder. Once that is done, we'll be ready to start accepting members and working on projects together.

That's all for this rather short update. Thank you for welcoming OpenBooks back into the Neocities commuity and for all of your feedback!

Welcome to OpenBooks 8 Series

May 12, 2019

It's been a long time. How have you been? After taking quite a break from Neocities, I've finally decided to relaunch OpenBooks as something more akin to what I always wanted it to be. I'm a little late, I've been teasing the fact I've wanted to do this throughout all of 2018, but here in May 2019 the project has finally been ready to reveal.

So what is OpenBooks 8 Series, anyway? My goal for the site is to create a sort of community hub for Neocities. OpenBooks will offer basic services that help tie the Neocities community closer together. For now, that means we have a search engine and a basic web directory, which mostly links to external sites and not yet Neocities. I have more features planned, but they're a little more ambitious and I didn't want to hold off on getting the new OpenBooks out there any later.

So, this is version 8 of OpenBooks. If you've lost count, here's a little guide before the complete history page is ready. OpenBooks launched under the name ChromeBooks in 2014. Version 2.0 launched in 2015 and with version 2.4 the name was officially changed to OpenBooks and was released under an open source license. (OpenBooks remains open source, but is now licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license). Versions 3 and 4 continued to be based off of the same codebase as 2.0, but all of that changed with version 5, in 2016. Version 5 stripped away the personal aspects of the site and focused primarily on the site's Neocities directory. I look back on the design of this version with appreciation, but also regret for how it removed the community aspects. Version 6 came and went, and was a personal site only. There were a few more personal page designs, but for the sake of continuity we're considering them part of OpenBooks 6. With 7.0, I tried to reconnect with the past and based the site off of 2.2, but this was rather short lived and the site has mostly just been a holding page since then. Now we've reached 8.0, officially named OpenBooks 8 Series. Here's hoping for a long and successful future on Neocities.

- Coy, OpenBooks Creator