I have recently discovered the option in Bloom to right-click on a book and save it as a single .bloom file:
I think this must be a fairly recent option, as the menu item isn’t localized yet into French in my French interface above…
For those with access to the SIL Gateway, this page seems to indicate that this is the preferred way to save a “source” file for archiving:
We had previously recommended that people zip the Bloom book source folder and use that in the RAMP file as the source file. Well it appears that the .bloom output file is exactly this. (Except that the empty “video” folder was not included in the .zip file, but I don’t image that’s a problem.) So this is good news… Now with a simple menu selection people can easily get a source file to put in their archive.
But I haven’t found a corresponding way to restore the book to the collection. I believe I can unzip it and place the folder manually in the collection, and re-opening the collection seems to make it appear. Is that deemed to be an acceptable way to restore from an archive (which arguably shouldn’t happen too often), or should there be a “Load from single file (.bloom)” option, maybe in the collection drop-down menu? Adding this option might also facilitate the passing of individual books from one collection to another (without going through bloom packs or templates, which some people might find daunting…).
Thanks for your input,
I think this must be a fairly recent option
Yes, the command was added for another software application that consumes this format. But yes, if you use it for archiving, you’d have to unzip it to use it. Since everything should be on BloomLibrary.org, I don’t expect anyone to ever have to retrieve a book in this way.
I realize that for advanced users, it would work fine to promote these as a means of collaboration. My concern is that in my experience, some of those advanced users will then train people to use it that really aren’t up to tracking versions of files, and then we will get reports of “I lost my changes” and such. The premise of Bloom is that file management is something to be avoided. Meanwhile, we’ve pored our energies into Team Collections which seems to be working well.
FYI, starting with Bloom 5.2 the name is changing to “.bloomSource”. And in 5.3 it is relocated:
My wife is a REAP curator and we’ve had multiple discussions about what all needs to be archived to archive a Bloom book. It pretty much comes down to what was previously .bloom and is now .bloomSource. The archive will then contain the files needed to recreate the actual Bloom book. I would certainly recommend that someone who wants to archive a Bloom book should create the .bloomSource version of it along with the presentation file(s) (PDFs, Bloom Reader .bloomd, ePUB, etc.).
Not every Bloom book is going to be in the online library, so I think it is important to have a systematic way to preserve the Bloom source files for a book.
Given the .bloomSource file format, I think it would be helpful for Bloom to read one (by double-clicking on it) and ask the user, What collection would you like to put this book in?