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Old 07-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #46
JSWolf
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I challenge the word "discourage". I think the most appropriate wording is "it offers a systematically-established semantic-oriented way of replacing the <div>'s".

In other words: HTML5 offers uniform, very detailed tags to mark the semantics of your document, even though it does not disallow "bad (i.e., non-semantic) usage" of generic elements like <div>.
HTML5 is not yet standardized and has now been split off into two. So until HTML5 is standardized, ePub3 won't be able to be a standard.

http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/07/html-groups-part-ways/

Last edited by JSWolf; 07-26-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #47
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HTML5 is not yet standardized and has now been split off into two. So until HTML5 is standardized, ePub3 won't be able to be a standard.
Not necessarily, just as the current epub 2.0.1 standard does not support all xhtml elements, the new epub3 standard won't support all HTML 5 elements.
I.e. the IDPF won't have to wait until the HTML 5 standard is finalized; they can cherry-pick the new features that they'd like to be supported by ereaders using the HTML 5 specs as guidelines.

Both Amazon and Apple already followed a similar approach.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:34 PM   #48
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Not necessarily, just as the current epub 2.0.1 standard does not support all xhtml elements, the new epub3 standard won't support all HTML 5 elements.
I.e. the IDPF won't have to wait until the HTML 5 standard is finalized; they can cherry-pick the new features that they'd like to be supported by ereaders using the HTML 5 specs as guidelines.

Both Amazon and Apple already followed a similar approach.
And if HTML5 ends up being different in enough respects to what they have chosen, it can come back and bit them on the ass big time.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:37 PM   #49
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HTML5 is not yet standardized and has now been split off into two. So until HTML5 is standardized, ePub3 won't be able to be a standard.
I don't think HTML5 will ever be standardized as major players all want to add their own flavor to the language.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #50
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I think that there is a fundamental problem here: many (major) players think about eBooks as "small web sites in a container". Hence, they have proposed web technologies (XHTML and HTML5) as the technological core of the EPUB format.

And I think this way of reasoning is simply wrong, and it generates very bad habits, like people not using the tags properly, i.e. not marking semantically the content of the eBooks, but just "drawing" them in the same way CSS are abused for web sites.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:48 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlPe View Post
And I think this way of reasoning is simply wrong, and it generates very bad habits, like people not using the tags properly, i.e. not marking semantically the content of the eBooks, but just "drawing" them in the same way CSS are abused for web sites.
Very interesting comment. Can you give some examples to illustrate how tags and CSS are abused?
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:26 AM   #52
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Tags are abused when one uses them to obtain a presentational effect, instead of using them to "annotate" their content.

Many CSS files you get on the web are redundant in many ways, for example they contain elements and subelements declaring the same styles or several classes (different names) with the same set of instructions.

I think that one of the major benefits of eBooks is that (potentially) the reader-user might provide "her own CSS" (*) and enjoy the book according to her preferences. (BTW, this was also the original idea behind the HTML.) Unfortunately, many publishers just want to "transpose" a paper edition into digital format, trying to reproduce it exactly. This leads, in many cases, to styling abuses. For example, I have seen a commercial EPUB of a novel (text-only) with an associated CSS with 400+ CSS declarations. These could have been reduced to less than 30 without impacting the "functionality" of the eBook.

To be fair, there are also cases where an essential part of the book consists in its typographical features, but then one might want to think about the opportunity of opting for other formats (PDF?).



(*) of course this is impossible to achieve in general, unless everyone agrees on using a common styling CSS structure. But, at least, if a CSS inside an EPUB is written with some logic, the user is able to edit it to tweak the appearance of the eBook. (I had to do this for several eBooks.)

Last edited by AlPe; 07-29-2012 at 07:30 AM. Reason: it -> them in the first sentence
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:33 AM   #53
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Quote:
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Very interesting comment. Can you give some examples to illustrate how tags and CSS are abused?
An example would be using <i> instead of <em>, for example. The <i> tag is "presentational" - it will always display text in italics. The <em> tag is semantic - it describes the desired effect - to emphasise the text - but leaves it up to the rendering engine to decide how to do that.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:34 PM   #54
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An example would be using <i> instead of <em>, for example. The <i> tag is "presentational" - it will always display text in italics. The <em> tag is semantic - it describes the desired effect - to emphasise the text - but leaves it up to the rendering engine to decide how to do that.
Is there a tool that supports "guided" conversion of presentational to semantic? For example, it could have a split screen: formatted display v. existing markup, so you could see <i></i> and pick <em></em> or <footnote></footnote> (or whatever).

Basically, replace markup as directed, ideally with some smarts. Not "automated", but faster and easier than manual editing in a text editor.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #55
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For <i></i> and <em></em>, I tend to do S&R, looking for i> and em> and then have it replace the appropriate one with the other option.

It does it one at a time, but it only takes me no more than 15mins for a full-size novel.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:26 PM   #56
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If <em></em> is for emphasizing text, then how do you indicate whether you want to emphasize with italics or bold?
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryEnthusiast View Post
If <em></em> is for emphasizing text, then how do you indicate whether you want to emphasize with italics or bold?
You do not have to indicate it. If you choose to, you use CSS. Or just use CSS classes to start with, see: http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_phrase_elements.asp and links from there.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:20 AM   #58
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If <em></em> is for emphasizing text, then how do you indicate whether you want to emphasize with italics or bold?
<em> is the semantic equivalent of <i>.
<strong> is the semantic equivalent of <b>.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:40 AM   #59
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<em> is the semantic equivalent of <i>.
<strong> is the semantic equivalent of <b>.
Thank you! Funny thought, I now realize that in many of my HTML files contain both <i></i> and <strong></strong>.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:33 AM   #60
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If <em></em> is for emphasizing text, then how do you indicate whether you want to emphasize with italics or bold?
That's not for HTML to say. It should only say it is emphasized, or, at most, why it is emphasized (by adding classes, for instance).

The "how" is the CSS job.
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