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Old 10-21-2011, 08:10 AM   #46
EowynCarter
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Epub would have been preferable and easier all round, but it's not big drama.
It is. Customer still can't go wherever he chose without the hassle of converting
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:19 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
It will be interesting to see if they ditch the Mobipocket/Palm Doc wrapper for KF8. If they do, it will probably take quite a while for a solution to appear. If they keep it, I suspect that a solution will be available in a very short time.

My bet is that they will keep the Palm Doc wrapper.
This also interests me - the Amazon announcement specifically mentions "technical and engineering" books - which would allow increased conversion/adoption of textbooks - which dovetails nicely into their "rent a textbook" program - which might need new/different/increased DRM to limit/prevent the creation of "used ebook" textbook stores/exchanges, and get wary publishers on board. This format change certainly opens the way for Amazon to enter the digital textbook market - in all categories, if mathematical, engineering, computer symbols & calculations can be properly displayed.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:35 AM   #48
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Is the name because it's the 8th format that they have used?
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:48 AM   #49
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This is all a battle of the titans for market share. Each titan tries to capture as many consumers as possible. They use their ability to reach lots of people and sell to them as an inducement to producers (authors, publishers) to feed content into the system. The titan with the best marketing will edge out the others and become a monopoly, or maybe a couple of them share the top of the mountain. Then prices go up; consumers lose choice; authors and editors lose choice.

As to the diversity of reading systems. Like languages...In the US we have essentially one language; in Europe, many languages. In the US I can understand--maybe not agree with--most people. When we have dead trees books all printed in English, we have libraries with books that are always available, for generations. When we have many incompatible reading systems, we rent books at a high price until our devices become obsolete (2-4 years at most), or until the monopolist changes formats. What does this do to our ability to maintain a civilisation? A personal library?

See the free download about epub3 with cogent reasons for having a standard:
http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920022442.do

O'Reilly's clever marketing strategy is to distribute electronic formats without DRM and in several convenient, standard formats.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:55 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post

I am very curious to see what the new format can do, though - and if anyone will take advantage of it.
And *that* is the only thing that matters.

Speculating/whining about the plumbing might be a fun diversion for some but out in the real world what matters is what added value the new format enables for consumers.

The KF8 page linked by the OP points out some interesting possibilities:
- textbooks and academic papers
- interactive children's books and training manuals
- native-format comics structured around "Kindle panels" (whatever that may be. Reflowable comics? Guided-view?)
- native-format fixed-page layouts
- embedded fonts and drop-caps, etc for those that want to tart-up ebooks to imitate print editions
- pretty much everything epub3 is supposed to do (it might even be epub3 in disguise )

The existing mobi format has proven itself sufficient for narrative text ebooks that constitute Amazon's stock in trade and the bulk of their catalog. It was also enough to take ebooks from a techie niche to a mainstream consumer product.
KF8 looks to extend the Kindle focus to Academia, education, comics, and possibly even the corporate markets. Plus do a much better job at newspapers and magazines. These are all places where epub3 should be useful and where it might have been a competitive weapon for competitors.

I don't think the timing of this announcement is an accident: shortly after epub3 is finalized but before any consumer-level implementation (gadget or app) is announced, much less delivered. This is simply a preemptive strike at the epub3 hype to come, probably from Apple (the most likely to be first to deploy) as well as a notice to publishers that yes, it is safe to invest in rich content ebooks because by the time the books reach market there will be millions of Kindle readers, tablets, and apps ready for them.

Which is to say: this is good for everybody, not just Kindle users.

Whine all you want about Amazon's go-it-alone approach if that is your mission in life, but Amazon has just settled the chicken and egg question for the next phase of the ebook evolution and greased the skids for epub3 (and equivalents) to be commercially viable at least one year sooner than without them.

That this puts their competitors under the gun to rush their deployment of epub3 and forces them to promise to upgrade their current models is just a bit of frosting on the cake. Any competitor without an epub3 (or equivalent) solution in place by spring is going to be at a serious marketting disadvantage.

Competitors compete; losers whine.
And the ebook business just got another boost.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:00 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
- pretty much everything epub3 is supposed to do (it might even be epub3 in disguise )
The different formats are all just HTML in a wrapper, with different levels of HTML support.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:08 AM   #52
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I wonder if this has any connection to the DC graphic novels being exclusive to the Kindle Fire at launch. It sounds me me like those books will be in KF8 format and since it's only going to be initially supported by the KFire, that's the only way they will sell them. It also explains why they're not going to release them for BN at least initially, KF8's support for panel view may not be something that epub supports yet. (I'm sure it could - but I don't think it does now.)

The good news is that this implies that any other device using a Kindle App may eventually get access to those GNs once the app supports KF8.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:08 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
I am happy to sit and wait for "Alf plus in a can" for de-infestation purposes.
Yeah, pretty much this. Then for me Amazon is not the first place I look for ebooks since I would prefer to buy epubs directly. Maybe it is because I actually don't purchase or read that many newly released books anyway, but I really don't much care what HTML5 or ePub 3.0 is supposed to add to the reading experience; videos or something?. I would prefer the money and effort go into producing acceptable quality ebooks of older titles. A few months ago I purchased an ebook version of an older, but still in copyright, title from Amazon. I finally got around to reading the ebook recently (I persuaded my local library book club to make it the monthly read) and what a mess. Not just funky formatting and occasional misspellings, but missing text clear up to a whole paragraph in some cases.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:09 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
Is the name because it's the 8th format that they have used?
The Mobipocket format has a version number. The highest version number I've seen for that is 7. So I think that's why it's 8.

This new format will actually give Amazon four supported file formats.

1. Mobipocket (Modified HTML 3.2 in a Palm Doc wrapper)
2. Topaz (which is completely different to any other format)
3. Print Replica (PDF in a Palm Doc wrapper)
4. KF8 (Modified HTML5/CSS2 in ?)
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:11 AM   #55
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This seemingly also answers the question why Amazon hasn't apparently pursued/developed the large screen PDF handling capabilities of the DXG - if Amazon is focusing on an HTML-based format solution for their readers - especially the larger screen size of the Fire tablet.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #56
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As long as the K3 is supported, I'm a happy camper
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:39 AM   #57
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I expect the Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation Kindle) to be supported purely because it is the most widely adopted model out there.

If you added up all of the Kindle 1, 2, DX, 4 (no keyboard) and Kindle Touch devices out there I'm sure that the Kindle Keyboard would outnumber them all.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:40 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
It is. Customer still can't go wherever he chose without the hassle of converting
That's probably not going to change unless people vote with their feet and stop buying readers that only support proprietary formats.

It's not in Amazon's interest to give us direct access to any kind of "standard" format such as epub. As someone else pointed out, they have made a huge success doing it their way so far, so why change? If we're daft enough to keep buying them and spending ages using apps like Calibre to convert formats, then we don't deserve readers that support epub (or similar).
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
The Mobipocket format has a version number. The highest version number I've seen for that is 7. So I think that's why it's 8.

This new format will actually give Amazon four supported file formats.

1. Mobipocket (Modified HTML 3.2 in a Palm Doc wrapper)
2. Topaz (which is completely different to any other format)
3. Print Replica (PDF in a Palm Doc wrapper)
4. KF8 (Modified HTML5/CSS2 in ?)
One advantage of Amazon's approach is that a Kindle ebook is whatever they say it is.
They use whatever wrapper they want around whatever format(s) they want and consumers don't have to worry their pretty little heads over it.
It just works.

It won't work for everybody--it doesn't have to--but so far it is working for a *lot* of people.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:58 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Daveoc64 View Post
I expect the Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation Kindle) to be supported purely because it is the most widely adopted model out there.

If you added up all of the Kindle 1, 2, DX, 4 (no keyboard) and Kindle Touch devices out there I'm sure that the Kindle Keyboard would outnumber them all.
...for the next year at least.
(They're going to sell a zillion base K4s over the next year.)

Amazon doesn't have to convince consumers, but rather publishers, and the best argument they can brandish is the install base: millions of dedicated readers, tablets, and apps. And the quicker they get the enhanced content, the easier it'll be to sell the new readers.

So yes; odds are K3 will get upgraded, odds are K2 won't. DX and DXG? Unclear.
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