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Old 07-02-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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China E-Book Firm Challenges PDF

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=225702186

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Chinese e-book player Beijing Founder Apabi Technology is poised to take on the might of Adobe with a unified layout document technology to rival the PDF.

The company is already an established name in the Chinese e-book market, having contracts with about 500 Chinese publishers, as well as providing technologies for electronic publishing, developing platforms for electronic libraries, and selling e-book readers.

Its new CEBX technology stands for Common E-document Blending XML. A CEBX file can store document data and is fully compatible with PDF, but technically superior, the company says.
People still use PDF for ebooks?
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Adobe have nothing to do with PDF as a standard any more. It was handed over to ISO (it's standard number ISO 32000-1) several years ago.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:58 AM   #3
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kjk, anyone dealing with non-fiction works knows that layout is important, which is not the same as saying that it thereby has to be fixed on the "page".

EPUB has given us much, but it has moved slowly, glacially in fact -- why are the standards so poor on layout control (little CSS2 and no real CSS3)? While unique Ids and and paragraph referencing is left to the side -- and why is there no direct Docbook support, or more importantly direct TEI support!

The answer is simple, the "standards" never exceed the existing software base, rather they are determined by it in the most narrow way. Yet ioronically there is plenty of software (firefox for instance) that with minor tweaks could display, at least, any flavour of XML, it is not that the standards are confined to the realistic (which they should be), but that they are held back by the manifest goods.

I am fifty three now, I am not waiting any longer for American corporates to come up with the goods, they have had long enough.

If China comes up with flexible layout and blended with XML (applicable to TEI) and the Blio reader comes out -- I will abandon my small EPUB productions and go over to something with more foresight kin design.

I started putting electronic literature in cybersapce, back in the mid 1980s using bullentin boards and peer to peer transfers. All the current problems and some of the current solutions were forecast in the late 1980s, and for nearly twenty five years I have been waiting for things to come together.

I have not seen anything of CEBX yet -- but they would only have to get a few things better than the current offerings to be a winner -- plus coming from China is in everyway a bonus.

Last edited by GregS; 07-05-2010 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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Do we really need another PDF-like format? There are already enough. We should just settle on an existing one and have that be the standard. Then the improvements will automatically come. Look, we settled on HTML and now HTML 5 will be dramatically better than the original.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregS View Post
kjk, anyone dealing with non-fiction works knows that layout is important, which is not the same as saying that it thereby has to be fixed on the "page".

EPUB has given us much, but it has moved slowly, glacially in fact -- why are the standards so poor on layout control (little CSS2 and no real CSS3)? While unique Ids and and paragraph referencing is left to the side -- and why is there no direct Docbook support, or more importantly direct TEI support!

The answer is simple, the "standards" never exceed the existing software base, rather they are determined by it in the most narrow way. Yet ioronically there is plenty of software (firefox for instance) that with minor tweaks could display, at least, any flavour of XML, it is not that the standards are confined to the realistic (which they should be), but that they are held back by the manifest goods.

I am fifty three now, I am not waiting any longer for American corporates to come up with the goods, they have had long enough.

If China comes up with flexible layout and blended with XML (applicable to TEI) and the Blio reader comes out -- I will abandon my small EPUB productions and go over to something with more foresight kin design.

I started putting electronic literature in cybersapce, back in the mid 1980s using bullentin boards and peer to peer transfers. All the current problems and some of the current solutions were forecast in the late 1980s, and for nearly twenty five years I have been waiting for things to come together.

I have not seen anything of CEBX yet -- but they would only have to get a few things better than the current offerings to be a winner -- plus coming from China is in everyway a bonus.
What about Blio?
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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These poor folks seem to be confusing "standard" with "technology". Everyone knows that PDF is an abysmally poor technology. The only reason we use it is because everyone else does.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishface View Post
These poor folks seem to be confusing "standard" with "technology". Everyone knows that PDF is an abysmally poor technology. The only reason we use it is because everyone else does.
Although this might be slightly off-topic although related, I was wondering what is wrong with PDF as a releasing format and as a technology? To me, it seems like it does well what it was designed to do, mainly ensuring that a document appears exactly as the creator intended.

Based on what I've read in these forums, it seems like PDF's main problem for most people is that it isn't flexible. An ebook is that is fine at the intended display size (such as on paper or on a computer screen), is rarely as good at any other size (such as on ebook reader screens).
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitaire1 View Post

Based on what I've read in these forums, it seems like PDF's main problem for most people is that it isn't flexible. An ebook is that is fine at the intended display size (such as on paper or on a computer screen), is rarely as good at any other size (such as on ebook reader screens).
True-and that most eReaders couldn't adequately show a full PDF page that was legible. I think if the Skiff and Que shipped at a decent price, many people would be happy with PDF as their format.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitaire1 View Post
Although this might be slightly off-topic although related, I was wondering what is wrong with PDF as a releasing format and as a technology? To me, it seems like it does well what it was designed to do, mainly ensuring that a document appears exactly as the creator intended.
I was comparing it with other fixed-layout formats, e.g., just gzipped PS. PDF is very slow (to load, render, and navigate), large in file size, often has all kinds of font issues if not generated in just the right way, and can often print up with wonky margins if the paper setting is not done just right. PDF has been around a long time. It's really not hard to come up with something better for a fixed-layout print format.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishface View Post
I was comparing it with other fixed-layout formats, e.g., just gzipped PS. PDF is very slow (to load, render, and navigate), large in file size, often has all kinds of font issues if not generated in just the right way, and can often print up with wonky margins if the paper setting is not done just right. PDF has been around a long time. It's really not hard to come up with something better for a fixed-layout print format.
Thanks for the feedback. I was looking at PDF as an end user and I've not had the above problems with PDFs that I create myself for my ereader. Other than the size issue I haven't had the other issues with PDF and for me PDF's reliable formatting is worth the tradeoff with file size.
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