Originally Posted by charleski
Well, a lot of publishers use the page-template badly, putting margins in it that should be specified in the css. In fact it seems a lot of them just paste in a single page-template file that they've found somewhere in the mistaken belief that it makes their output look more professional, but that's a symptom of the poor level of coding skills prevalent in the industry.
Used properly, the page-template extension offers a reasonable amount of extra functionality. It's non-standard, but we're already seeing people playing around
with webkit-specific css3 elements to get nice effects on the iPad, so the epub standard is in danger of losing relevance.
Yes, the page-template is used by publishers to specify page margins. They don't use it for anything that you cannot do in CSS. I prefer my ePub to have no margins. That's my personal choice. But what I have to do to achieve that is to delete the page-template, edit the OPF to remove it, and then edit ever XML file to remove the page-template from there. Granted, doing the XML removing is easy with Notepad++ as it allows me to load all the files I want and then do a search/replace on all of them at once. Also, I then have to edit the CSS (would have to do anyway). And finally, I have to delete the page-template from the ePub itself. So that's three extra steps I have to take just to be able to edit the margins via the CSS because of this rather useless page-template.
I've not seen any use of page-template (yet) that could not be done in CSS.