View Full Version : Is those interactions possible With ePub?


nightmaster
11-22-2011, 11:59 AM
Hi there.

I am in the phase of choosing publishing format to my text / multimedia "books" (with
embedded music and/or video, external links and what else you can think of in that regard.)

First of: I know basically NOTHING about mobile readers, please have that in mind
when you pour your wisdom out on a humble and grateful newbie (me) :D
So if my questions already have been answered, I do apologise, i tried to search the forum
first. i would be most grateful if you could name the functions that you would use to make
my publication work as i want it to.

Well on to the questions:

Q1. Is it correctly understood by me that ePub is the standard that most devices are

compatible with?
Q1.1 if the answer to Q1 is yes, are there any of the major devices that have any quirks
with the ePub format, besides the fact that they properly donīt support the new version 3 of ePub.

And now to the interactive part.

I want my publication to have some specific functions, and they are best described if you
think of a newspaper, so here goes:

Q2. Is it possible to make a ePub book where you can let the reader choose (on the fly)
which part of the book the person will see. (preferably by selecting some checkboxes or
similar) example: think of it like this: you are getting a newspaper with all kinds of
sections and you know that you wont be reading the art or the sports sections, so you wish to throw them out (or in a ePub "hide" them)

Q2.1 if the answer to Q2 is yes, is it then possible to have some checkboxes where you can choose the background colour / Gray-scale, of the individual "sections", and is is possible to split it up even further? example: think of it like this: you donīt have a lot of time and want to read the highlight from sport section, so you mark up that the sport parts (which are scattered all over the ePub book) of the ePub should have a specific background colour, and furthermore that the highlights within those parts, are yet another colour so that you can find them quickly.

Q3. if this is possible, can you please tell me how much work you think it would require,
(ie is it something that take a lot of time) and is it something a newbie can do, or does it
require an expert?

Q4. if it is not possible with ePub (or not will be with version 3) are there any other
format you can suggest?

link to Epub3 (http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-overview.html)

TIA for your time,

Nightmaster

Toxaris
11-22-2011, 02:23 PM
Q1 yes, to some degree. Kindle does not do ePUB.
Q1.1 Each reader has some quirks with regards to the specifications. Some have more than others. iBooks is known to ignore quite some specifications. Be advised, I am talking about v2 of the specification. Version 3 is just finalized, but there is only 1 physical reader that accepts this, at least some of it.
Q2 and Q2.1 This can be done with JavaScript in ePUB 3. As I said earlier, only 1 physical reader supports this at the moment. The extent of support is not yet clear.
Q3 This will be quite some work.
Q4 Best option will be an app.

nightmaster
11-23-2011, 08:53 AM
Q1 yes, to some degree. Kindle does not do ePUB.
Q1.1 Each reader has some quirks with regards to the specifications. Some have more than others. iBooks is known to ignore quite some specifications. Be advised, I am talking about v2 of the specification. Version 3 is just finalized, but there is only 1 physical reader that accepts this, at least some of it.
Q2 and Q2.1 This can be done with JavaScript in ePUB 3. As I said earlier, only 1 physical reader supports this at the moment. The extent of support is not yet clear.
Q3 This will be quite some work.
Q4 Best option will be an app.

Hi Toxaris, and thanks for the reply.

And surprise, now i got some replys and more questions ;)

@ answer 1: I am glad that ePub V3 is able to do what i want, and at the same time being a free standard, and when the time comes to consider what to do about the Kindle, i hope that they also support ePub, as rumours has it that they will (see ePub rumor) (http://www.epubbooks.com/blog/827/amazon-kindle-epub-rumour)

@ answer 1.1: is there any kind of list over the most compatible "parts" of the specifications of ePub version2 (so you can be pretty sure that the things you publish works on the most devices, like the ibooks you mentioned).

@ answer 3: okay, but is it something a newbie could do with some training, or does it require the experience of an expert. ( im just trying to gauge how much time and money the production will cost me, as an expert salery could make the product too expensive, and thereby killing the product idea.)

cheers,
Nightmaster

DiapDealer
11-23-2011, 09:31 AM
and when the time comes to consider what to do about the Kindle, i hope that they also support ePub, as rumours has it that they will (see ePub rumor)
Don't hold your breath. That WAS just a rumour. In fact, Amazon has already announced their own, new proprietary format (KF8) that seems as if it will be their answer to an ePub3-like format... but it won't BE ePub3.

I suspect Amazon will support ePub on the day they successfully eliminate the ePub format as a viable alternative.

(Before anybody gets excited—No, I don't expect that to happen... nor would I even want that to happen. Just being realistic about under what circumstances Amazon would consider supporting the ePub format on their devices. And the answer is; "under no circumstances"... unless the format is no longer a threat to their plans of market dominance. KF8 has made that very clear.)

Toxaris
11-23-2011, 10:04 AM
There is no real list of which reader supports what with regards to ePUB v2. In general the most things work fine and I recommend you to make it according to what you want. If somethings won't work, you either have to work around or leave it in. The latter would of course be solved in the future when it will be supported. The choice depends on the actual effect you need.

In theory a newbie could do it with training. In fact, we have all been newbies of course. It depends on your timeframe and your abilities. In general, if you can do it in CSS/HTML, you should be able to pick it up relatively fast.

nightmaster
11-24-2011, 07:49 AM
@DiapDealer: well i see your point, and i think it all come down to 1: how the producers of readers choose to proceed.. will they cooperate about making ePub3 compatible across all their devices, so that it is hassle free for the consumers, and actively work together to make products that consumers like better than the Kindle, or will they compete against each other, i witch case i think they will fail, and become a niche in the market.

and 2: how the consumers react to that cooperation (and in this financial situation, lower prices should help the producers to take marketshares from the kindle). and if that happens, i think that the kindle eventually will get support for ePub3.

@Toxaris: thanks for your answers, i will look at it myself, but from what i gather from your answers. i think i will end up either doing it myself or hire someone to do the coding as needed, and if all goes well i will be able to hire someone to do it fulltime.. but thats years out.. but i can dream cant i ;)

regards,

Nightmaster