Last modified 7 years ago Last modified on 10/15/09 20:50:15

Project Overview

About Sophie


Sophie is an advanced tool for authoring, reading, and publishing electronic books. It allows users to easily create books that contain any type of media they have on hand – text, images, sounds, videos, and animations. Sophie does for media what a physical book does for text and images: with Sophie, authors can create multimedia books. Sophie allows the easy construction of documents that are designed to live on a network and use multimedia and time in ways that are currently difficult, if not impossible. Sophie transforms the way people go about reading and writing in screen-based environments. Sophie’s goal is to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of people and institutions.

You can get Sophie Author 1.0 and Sophie Reader 1.0 here.

Sophie 2.0's goal is to optimize Sophie 1.0's best features while removing others based on user feedback and also adding altogether new features.

You might want to read more about the history of Sophie 2.0 or about Astea Solutions. If so, click here.


Copyright 2008, The University of Southern California. Licensed under the Educational Community License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this code except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


Sophie 2.0 runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Since it is written in Java, in order to run the platform independent libraries, you must have Java installed. Hardware requirements will be further refined during development, Current requirements are found in the Requirements section of the wiki.


Sophie 2.0 is being developed in several layers: Platform, Core, Base, Main, Extra, Community Server, Sophie 2.0 Server, End Product and Supporting Artifacts. Descriptions of each, as well as a brief tutorial for new developers, are in the Development Overview. Other important development documents are located in Developers' Home.

Sophie Wishlist contains the functionalities, which Sophie users would like to be available in Sophie 2.0. So, these are the issues we work on, besides the ones, mentioned at the begining of the overview.


The Sophie 2.0 platform consists of a set of bundles with specific functionality. Since it is a complete desktop publishing solution, some users may not need all of its features (for example, you do not need the Sophie 2.0 Server in order to read a book). This packaging issue is resolved by the edition structure of Sophie: every edition is a stand-alone subset of these bundles. Sophie 2.0 has three editions: Author, Reader and Server (their names are based on the functionality that they provide).


Sophie 2.0's development process was initiated on October 15, 2008 and will take approximately one year. This period is split into 12 shorter ones, called "iterations" (each approximately 1 month long). During this time, more than 1500 tasks will be completed. The methodology we use for performing these tasks is similar to SCRUM. Every task has 3 major phases: analysis (defining what will be done), design (defining how it will be done) and implementation (the actual work). The release schedule of the project is defined as follows:

  • pre: iterations 1-5. At the end of this phase, the product must have stable internal architecture (this includes mainly the plugin decomposition).
  • alpha: iterations 6-8. Massive changes are expected here, but only external ones. After the end of the alphas, we will stop adding new features.
  • beta: iterations 9-11. All the features included through this period will be finished here. Most bugfixing will be done as well.
  • final: iteration 12. Final bugfixing.

If you are interested in the current progress of the project, go to the roadmap.

The Sophie 2.0 Release Schedule lists each scheduled release.

Help and Support

This section should provide answers to most of your questions about the project, or at least a place to post them. The blog can also give you an overview of our progress.

  • User Guide. User documentation for Sophie 2.0 is not yet finished, though documentation for the pre-release version currently available can be found here. A user guide for Sophie 1.0 may be downloaded from; from the user's point of view, Sophie 2.0 will share general concepts.
  • Frequently Asked Questions. Here is a list of common developers' questions and answers, divided in categories: FAQ
  • Forum. Please read the FAQ before posting questions in the forum.