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Old 03-26-2008, 09:28 PM   #16
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Well I have too much on my plate at the moment to work on a viewer, either from scratch of as part of another project, I just mentioned the possibility as something that's relatively easy to do.

With regard to paging, the problem isn't figuring out the paging, it is rendering page breaks.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell View Post
The new IDPF EPUB e-book format standard is taking the world by storm.
Beg pardon, but without some sort of numbers to back the claim, this is sheerest wishful thinking.

Adobe might like it to take over the world, but really, who has either issued documents in this format or committed to do so in the future?
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell View Post
Think of it as the analogy to the Adobe .pdf format, but for flowable text, so it can display well on any size screen from a PC to a phone.
I agree that this is the intent, but there are as yet no implementations except on desktop computers with really big screens. So what does it have in principle that helps on small screens and with low performing processors?

FBReader runs on small devices, but it throws away the CSS which is presumably supposed to make the "display well on any screen size" promise come true. The way FBReader tries to optimize the look of a document is to allow customization to the device and to the reader's preferences. This is not to say that FBReader should not support CSS, but on a small screen it may be advisable to ignore much of the document's embedded style.

I think EPUB is the best solution out there for reflowable non-fiction and in particular for technical documents. These probably intrinsically require a 6" or above screen size, but maybe this is ok given trends in hardware. If you do need to read a technical document on a cell phone, then EPUB may still be your best option (just not a very good one). Two examples of EPUB's advantages for non-fiction are SVG and embedded fonts.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
FBReader isn't doing a very good job here, beyond displaying the text (it does better on OEB 1.2 conforming documents),
The OPF (.epub "presentation layer") requires conformant readers not only support CSS but also SVG. FBReader is more doing a poor job of pretending to support .epub than anything else.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:39 AM   #20
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(1) An EPUB Best Practices Guide white paper, created by the Digital Publishing Team at Adobe (attached in EPUB format). There is also some background information about the format that may make it of interest to non-technical readers as well.
I think this is a good document, but I'm not sure I'd describe it as a "best practices guide." Most of the content simply introduces and describes the standards themselves without really giving any guidance outside what the standards mandate. If the standard requires it, it's more a "necessary practice" than a best practice . Another big chunk describes how to use Adobe's extensions, although I'll grant that this may qualify given than Adobe has the only anywhere near conformant .epub reader available.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by jbenny View Post
Rather than starting from scratch, why don't you add your talent to Openberg Lector? It already does epub. It does need some help with paging, TOC viewing, etc. Although having a standalone app, instead of a FF plugin has some advantages. For that matter, how about helping improve FBReader?
Another option would be to take the salvageable parts of Openberg Lector and slap them on top of xulrunner instead of Firefox. That would allow for a separately distributable application with a lot more control of the overall interface than one can get away with in an FF plugin. (Not that I'm suggesting this for Kovid... Just rambling on how to make the world a better place.)
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:33 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by llasram View Post
The OPF (.epub "presentation layer") requires conformant readers not only support CSS but also SVG. FBReader is more doing a poor job of pretending to support .epub than anything else.
I agree, and it is only mentioned in the context of EPUB because none of the designers of EPUB, except Adobe, have reading software or devices that support it. They have a higher hurdle than FBReader though, since they probably can't get away with partial EPUB support.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #23
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As a reseller of eBooks, our team at BooksOnBoard is very happy with Adobe's direction. They are paying attention to the end customer and seem set on implementing a product and successor products that will continue to improve the end reader's experience. We keep support going 7 days a week, primarily to help readers through many of the un-intuitive issues associated with downloading and reading books from the major publishers - all DRM. We have thousands of emails from new ebook readers about to pull their hair out from DRM issues, download issues, un-intuitive software, etc.

Bringing out a product centered around the epub standard for ebook - one the industry worked on for years - gives a lot of credence to Adobe - and hope to our support team. Having Nick Bogaty now on the Adobe team - the outstanding guy who worked in the trenches while exec director at idpf to bring the conflicting interests of the industry together around the epub standard - is further evidence of Adobe's commitment and concern for a win-win universe for ebooks. Our BooksOnBoard readers need simplification and improved means for getting e-content. Adobe is the most promising we've yet seen.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:10 AM   #24
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Does ePub supports MathML?
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:17 AM   #25
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Does ePub supports MathML?
MathML is not currently part of the standard, but it's very easy to add out-of-line XML island in EPUB: I expect some software in the future to support MathML.

For the moment, I would recommend using MathML in an EPUB document, but with a proper SVG fallback.
This way it'll work on every reading system (SVG support is mandatory) and once MathML is available, it'll use the MathML file instead.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:36 AM   #26
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Started to blog about the future of EPUB.

Here's the first post about how RDF could be useful for EPUB: http://blog.feedbooks.com/?p=48
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