OpenBooks-Marin Exley

April 29 2016

It's official, after briefly being hosted by the Network Neighborhood, the OpenBooks OpenSource Project is now part of its own organization, called OpenBooks-Marin Exley (OME). OME is the combination of all of Marin Exley's brands, including OpenBooks and VHSearch. What does this mean for the future of OpenBooks? For one thing, OBOSP, which is the core of this site, will continue to be developed. Ownership was transferred from the Network Neighborhood to Marin Exley, and then OME once it was formed. It also means... Nothing really changes, for the user at least. This is mostly just for me to keep things organized. The Exley website now directs visiors to the new OME site, which is still under construction but is almost complete.

- Marin.Mail Link

Introducing OpenBooks Promotion Platform

April 19 2016

The OpenBooks Promotion Platform Beta is now available. The OPP consists of embeddable buttons you can add to your site. Each button features a different Neocities website every time the page is loaded. You can add your own site by applying from the main website.

OpenBooks Promotion Platform Beta

- Marin.Mail Link

New Projects

April 15 2016

I've started working on a few things since leaving the Network Neighborhood. One of them has already been announced here, OpenBooks TV, a set-top box interface for browsing OpenBooks and the rest of Neocities. I've been a bit vague about the other two.

The first project is a role playing game, similar to the Mother/Earthbound series for the NES and SNES. I don't want to say too much about it yet, but it has had a few working titles so far: "All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace", "Reality in Motion", "Moonrise", and "Quandary". As you can see, I'm a little indecisive when it comes to naming things. The story is about a group of kids saving the world. It may be cliche, but that's part of the fun in making a retro-styled video game.

The second project underway is a pretty big one. While working with the Network Neighborhood, I had begun groundwork for a method of promoting other Neocities sites. I was inspired by one of the original ChromeBooks 2.0 features, the Featured Blogs links on this page, and inspired by banner advertising from 90s and early 2000s websites. For the most part, I hate web advertising, but this is promotion, and only exists to help others get more exposure. For now, the OpenBooks Promotion Platform is not quite ready, but when it is, you'll be able to request your own banner, and place other user's banners on your own site. Every time the page is loaded, a different site will be featured. OPP will be available in beta soon.

I can't wait to share these projects with you all.

- Marin.Mail Link

Recent Updates

April 12 2016

It wasn't that long ago I announced plans to update the site more frequently. Althought I haven't been able to stick to a weekly update schedule, the site is now updated more consistently than before. For a little more than a month, there has been at least one OpenBooks update every two weeks. The 2.x series was updated very frequently, jumping from 2.6 to 2.9 in just one week. The update schedule was intended to prevent me from doing that, so overall, it has been a success. I also don't always have enough time to work on OpenBooks to have a full update ready every week, because of some other projects I'm working on.

As you may have noticed, I am not longer a part of the Network Neighborhood. No I wasn't kicked out. I left voluntarily due to personal reasons. After leaving, several Network Neighborhood projects have become my sole responsibility. NetTV, a Neocities powered set-top box interface, has been forked into OpenBooksTV. I don't know how much work I will get done on it, but as netTV was one of my projects, I felt it was right to continue working on that myself. Ownership of OpenBooks was also changed, and it is now hosted on my personal GitHub rather than the Network Neighborhoods. As I am not a member anymore, I am also able to talk about some of the other things I had begun to work on. One of them is a easy way to promote other Neocities sites by having a banner placed on your own site. They would never be intrusive and always tastefully designed. I had intended to release this as a Network Neighborhood project, but there was never much progress made. Apart from the Network Neighborhood, I began working on a game. I hope I can show you some of it soon.

- Marin.Mail Link

20k hits!!!!

March 23 2016

It wasn't too long ago that I made it to 15 thousand views. And now OpenBooks is already at 20,000. Thank you!

- Marin.Mail Link

Goals and time limits

March 23 2016

Earlier this month, I announced that I would be updating OpenBooks weekly. However, as time has passed, I've realized that isn't always possible for me to do. I set out on a goal to keep this website updated every week, however, that isn't a goal that's truly achievable. The goal simply lasts forever, and will never be reached. I haven't felt as motivated to update OpenBooks as it's something I would be doing forever. The schedule is still in effect, but some updates may be a few days off, or there maybe a week without updates every once in a while. It just isn't realistic for me to have time to update the site every week, especially with larger updates.

- Marin.Mail Link

15,000 hits

March 9 2016

It's truly amazing to me to have reached this milestone. In September 2014, a few days after I created this site, I was celebrating 2000 hits. Chromebooks was, at first, just an attempt to relive the old Geocities 90s web design style. Since then, it has evolved into the site it is today. I couldn't be more thankful to all of you for the inspiration to continue this project. In honor of this milestone, I have created LIQUID CRYSTAL, a new site that continues the design from Chromebooks 1.8.

Thank you.

- Marin.Mail Link

Update Schedule

March 1 2016

I've decided to make a schedule for updating OpenBooks. Starting from now on, I won't be waiting to update OpenBooks; new features will be published every Tuesday. This means whatever I've worked on will be uploaded that week. This also means updates will be a lot faster now. If needed, I will make minor tweaks throught the rest of the week, with new content coming on Fridays.

This is what the update schedule looks like so far:


OpenBooks 3.1


OpenBooks 3.2


OpenBooks 3.3


OpenBooks 3.4

Tuesday updates will always increase the second number, 3.4 to 3.5 for examples. Secret updates will add a second number to the end, 3.4.1 or 3.4.2.

Major releases will now occur the first week of every February and August, so in August of this year, I'll be releasing OpenBooks 4.0. Keeping a schedule like this helps me to stay motivated and working on OpenBooks.

This doesn't mean I'll be updating the site every Tuesday. I'll be updating it only when I have actually made any changes.

In short, the schedule looks like this:


GitHub Commit, last minute check.


3.X updates published.


Bugfixes, minor tweaks (3.X.X releases)


Content updates (Blog, Articles, Music, Downloads)


Development period.

- Marin.Mail Link

In development again...

February 5 2016

It seems like every time I publish an update, I disappear for a while. Well, I'm still doing some other things elsewhere, my main site,, has been launched. Right now, it's just a landing page with a few links to where I can be found on the 'net. OpenBooks updates have been planned up to 3.0, so I won't be going anywhere for a while. Right now, OpenBooks XP Service Pack 1 is under development, which will continue the redesign. It'll also retire a couple of features, and introduce one I'm really excited about. I have a lot to do before I can release OpenBooks XP 2, which will be the last major 2.x release. OpenBookx XP 3.0 will return to a unified numbering system. The XP name will probably be dropped later on, when I refine the design again.

- Marin.Mail Link

OpenBooks XP

January 7 2016

I'm proud to announce the biggest update to OpenBooks yet. Last month, the Network Neighborhood and I went open source on Github, and now work on OpenBooks since has steadily continued due to a sudden, large amount of free time ;). OpenBooks 2.5 contains more changes than any other update I've published so far, and a new overall visual style. Be sure to check the update notes! More soon to come...

- Marin.Mail Link

OpenBooks 2.1

November 5 2015

After a bit of a delay, OpenBooks 2.1 is here. 2.1 marks the first major update to OpenBooks since the rebuild. This one was mostly visual changes. Usually, visual changes would only warrent a minor update, but because there were so many, we got a larger version bump. Not all of the features I had planned made it into the update, but a few did. One of those is Articles. OpenBooks Articles has now entered beta, and articles can be submitted to my email address. I'll also be publishing my own soon.

Future plans: 2.2 will include the Directory and Gallery, both features I originally intended for 2.1. 2.1 needed to be released because I meant for the visual changes to occur weeks ago, but school comes first and I haven't had the time. Luckily though, I now have a bit more time to devote to OpenBooks and should be able to keep up a consistent release schedule. Fun fact: I have more planned than just this website.

- Marin.Mail Link

OpenBooks 2.0 Released

October 9 2015

OpenBooks has been completely redesigned and rebuilt. I couldn't be happier with it. But as always, there's still much to do.

So what's next?

I need to make some adjustments for the website to work better in Internet Explorer (it doesn't display colors properly) and I want to finish the Directory and Gallery. Right now, I don't have much to add to them. Within the next few weeks, we should reach ChromeBooks 2.1 which will take us out of beta.

- Marin.Mail Link