Tag Archives: Stanza

Creating a Stanza Catalog with ASP.Net MVC 2.0

Stanza is a book reader for the iPhone/iPad.  One of Stanza’s features is the ability to browse specially formatted book catalogs.  While it has a number of built-in catalogs, you can also add your own.  I have created such a catalog with ASP.Net MVC 2.0 (screenshots).  The Stanza catalog format is pretty simple – just AtomPub with some proprietary attributes for images and things like search.  This was a quick and easy project because the .Net Framework 4.0 has the System.ServiceModel.Syndication namespace which does all the RSS/Atom feed generation.  We just have to add some custom attributes and serialize the feed to the browser.

Here is a quick overview of the code (Links are to the latest version of the source code in my SVN browser.  You can get the project from SVN here (guest/guest).)  The LiteratureCatalog and LiteratureCatalog.Tests projects have the relevant code.

Update: The Stanza catalog format works equally well with Aldiko, an e-reader for Android.


This is the default controller specified in global.asax.  It defers to MisesFeeds to generate the feed items and to FeedResult to serialize and write out the feed.

Sample Method:

public FeedResult Journal(int journalId)
var feeds = new MisesFeeds(Request);
SyndicationFeed feed = feeds.GetJournalFeed(journalId);
return new FeedResult(new Atom10FeedFormatter(feed));


MisesFeed contains all the code to generate a SyndicationFeed object containing a List of SyndicationItem.  Note the Stanza-specific links added in search list-builder and the final helper method:

item.Links.Add(new SyndicationLink(new Uri(DataFormat.GetAbsoluteURL(p.Logo)),
public SyndicationFeed CreateFeedFromSyndicationItemList(IEnumerable postItems, string title,
string description)
var feed = new SyndicationFeed(title, description, new Uri(feedUri), postItems)
Copyright = new TextSyndicationContent(Configuration.Copyright),
Language = "en-US"
var self = new SyndicationLink(new Uri(Host + HttpUtility.UrlEncode("/Catalog/"))"self""", Type, 0);
feed.Links.Add(new SyndicationLink(new Uri(Host + "/Catalog/Search/?q={searchTerms}",true),"search","Search Catalog",Type,0));
return feed;


FeedWriter inherits from ActionResult.  It just writes the SyndicationFeed out with an XmlTextWriter:

public override void ExecuteResult(ControllerContext context)
if (context == null)
throw new ArgumentNullException("context");
HttpResponseBase response = context.HttpContext.Response;
response.ContentType = !string.IsNullOrEmpty(ContentType) ? ContentType : "application/atom+xml";
if (ContentEncoding != null)
response.ContentEncoding = ContentEncoding;
if (feed != null)
using (var xmlwriter = new XmlTextWriter(response.Output))
xmlwriter.Formatting = Formatting.Indented;

Thanks to DamienG for the FeedResult class.

To see the catalog, get the Stanza app, tap “Get Books”, “Shared”, “Add Book Source”, then add the URL mises.org/catalog.