View Full Version : Epub Revision - rich media & interactivity


Nate the great
04-08-2010, 08:07 PM
1. Need for rich media and interactivity support. EPUB 2.0.1 has an extension mechanism, with provision for fallbacks, but does not intrinsically standardize support for rich media (such as video) and interactivity (programmatic content, such as would be needed to implement a quiz or crossword puzzle). These capabilities are necessary for interactive digital textbooks and digital magazines, and more generally to enable eBooks to evolve into a new medium, rather than simply be digital equivalents of paper books.

Who wants to get it started?

dmikov
04-08-2010, 11:17 PM
Please no, I want simple format that can do electronic books, not another flash sites.

pholling
04-08-2010, 11:41 PM
My interest is in engineering education, so animations (perhaps through SVG), audio, and short videos would seem to be useful. Those are useful not only for making some technical points, but also for keeping the reader interested.
The programmatic content is a real winner for running simulations and exercising the newly explained math.
Quizzes are useful for finding where your presentation is ineffective, and for guiding upcoming content to be presented. Can also give the student a sense of accomplishment.

kovidgoyal
04-09-2010, 12:19 AM
Javascript for the interactivity and HTML5 for video.

pepak
04-09-2010, 01:17 AM
Personally, I can't wait for viruses targeting e-book readers. Here's a whole new world to discover. Why should we who like to read books be discriminated? We deserve viruses and trojans as well as anybody!

kovidgoyal
04-09-2010, 01:35 AM
I have yet to hear of a javascript virus that infected any computer not running windows XP.

pepak
04-09-2010, 05:49 AM
I have yet to hear of a javascript virus that infected any computer not running windows XP.
JavaScript may not be dangerous in itself, but it is a gateway for bugs. Some time ago I did a small research, checking all critical vulnerabilities of major browsers for some six months back. It turned out about 85% of vulnerabilities would not work with javascript disabled, with another 5% it wasn't clear (the description wasn't detailed enough to decide what would happen if javascript weren't supported or was disabled).

Valloric
04-09-2010, 01:49 PM
I must be the only one who wants books to stay non-interactive.

You want interactive, go online.

Jellby
04-09-2010, 02:40 PM
Some interactivity can be good (a map that can be zoomed, a Klein bottle that can be rotated, a table that can be sorted by different columns...), but I don't know if I can trust the sense of contents creators, given the use of flash in webpages...

kovidgoyal
04-09-2010, 02:41 PM
I for one would love to be able to add crosswords/sudoku/interactive stories (D&D style) to e-books.

HarryT
04-09-2010, 02:45 PM
I for one would love to be able to add crosswords/sudoku/interactive stories (D&D style) to e-books.

Yes, it would be great for those "choose your own adventure" type books which were popular in the early 1980s.

frabjous
04-09-2010, 03:52 PM
Yes, it would be great for those "choose your own adventure" type books which were popular in the early 1980s.

Presumably that much can already be recreated pretty well just by hyperlinking, even with the current spec and readers.

Still, one could take it a step or two further.

cmdahler
04-09-2010, 04:09 PM
Who wants to get it started?
1. Need for rich media and interactivity support. EPUB 2.0.1 has an extension mechanism, with provision for fallbacks, but does not intrinsically standardize support for rich media (such as video) and interactivity (programmatic content, such as would be needed to implement a quiz or crossword puzzle). These capabilities are necessary for interactive digital textbooks and digital magazines, and more generally to enable eBooks to evolve into a new medium, rather than simply be digital equivalents of paper books.

Ah, the neverending rush to glitz. The ePub standard needs to get plain text books right first before moving on to stuff like rich media. There's still so many things that need to be fixed with respect to basic typography in the ePub standard; I can't even imagine how screwed up this format will get if they start slap-dashing things like embedded video, etc., into the standard. Jeez, I don't want to read a web page, I want to read a book.

charleski
04-09-2010, 05:12 PM
Some interactivity can be good (a map that can be zoomed, a Klein bottle that can be rotated, a table that can be sorted by different columns...), but I don't know if I can trust the sense of contents creators, given the use of flash in webpages...

And let's be brutally honest - the industry people who want interactive features want them for Ads...

kovidgoyal
04-09-2010, 11:12 PM
And let's be brutally honest - the industry people who want interactive features want them for Ads...

Easy enough to add ad-block to reader programs ;)

dmikov
04-11-2010, 02:31 PM
Ah, the neverending rush to glitz. The ePub standard needs to get plain text books right first before moving on to stuff like rich media. There's still so many things that need to be fixed with respect to basic typography in the ePub standard; I can't even imagine how screwed up this format will get if they start slap-dashing things like embedded video, etc., into the standard. Jeez, I don't want to read a web page, I want to read a book.

Yep, yep. Just looking at epub editor situation we are not even in mature (sorry Valoric v2 is great, but it's no Dreamweaver or VisualStudio) phase, the renderers are also few and buggy. Adding video and script( especially one that changes layout) can postpone mature products for awhile.

Valloric
04-11-2010, 04:57 PM
(sorry Valoric v2 is great, but it's no Dreamweaver or VisualStudio)

I agree, Dreamweaver or Visual Studio it is not. Sadly, I lack the resources of MS and Adobe. :)

kovidgoyal
04-11-2010, 11:25 PM
Yep, yep. Just looking at epub editor situation we are not even in mature (sorry Valoric v2 is great, but it's no Dreamweaver or VisualStudio) phase, the renderers are also few and buggy. Adding video and script( especially one that changes layout) can postpone mature products for awhile.

Actually since all renderers except ADE are based on browser engines, adding video and script is pretty easy.